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.