Ellie’s Deli: Wish­ing on Mat­zo Ball Soup!

  • Review
By – September 26, 2023

Ellie is very con­cerned: the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, which is such an impor­tant part of her and her family’s life, is rapid­ly dwin­dling. Their inter­gen­er­a­tional deli, a busi­ness that keeps their finances afloat, is now in dire straits. Ellie wants to do more than sim­ply wish on a pot of chick­en soup for things to mag­i­cal­ly improve. She enlists friends, neigh­bors, and oth­er well-wish­ers to help her cre­ate a vari­ety of plans as she simul­ta­ne­ous­ly nav­i­gates school, friends, and the vicis­si­tudes of dai­ly life. And what do you know: Ellie’s plans begin to suc­ceed. Sud­den­ly, there is work for those who need it, an evening minyan for Kad­dish, a close bond between her and her sib­lings, and a num­ber of oth­er improve­ments that sup­port both her fam­i­ly and her town. The Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty is start­ing to become active again, and Ellie’s impor­tant wish­es for her family’s future seem to be com­ing true.

A fun sto­ry with believ­able char­ac­ters and solv­able prob­lems, this easy-to-read, mid­dle-grade book will hold the reader’s inter­est and pro­vide excel­lent, humor­ous enter­tain­ment along the way.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions