In 1965, Los Angeles Dodger star pitcher Sandy Koufax told his team he wouldn’t pitch in the World Series opening game against the Minnesota Twins because it fell on Yom Kippur. While Koufax doesn’t feature in this story, his decision is the inspiration for David Adler’s wonderful new book. Jacob loves playing shortstop on his Little League team, and becomes a hero to his teammates when he catches the ball for a final out in the penultimate game of the year. That means the Lions are headed for a championship, but, as Jacob’s father reminds him, the championship game falls on Yom Kippur. “Dad says, ‘Think about what you want to do.” This sets the stage for a more thoughtful and complex book than one might expect, for by giving Jacob the responsibility to decide whether or not he’ll play in the game, Adler also gives the reader an opportunity to think about what decision s/he might make in a similar situation. Erev Yom Kippur Jacob and his family eat a meal and go to synagogue, where the rabbi sermonizes about the connections of Jews to their families, the community, and the world. The next day Jacob returns to shul with his parents, but he brings his uniform with him. He listens to the rabbi tell the story of Jonah, emphasizing the importance of prayer. Finally it’s time to get ready for the game, and after changing into his uniform, Jacob starts to head for the field. “As I walk, I think about the game … I always try my best but I don’t always succeed. Maybe I can’t control everything that happens to me. I stop walking. I look back at the synagogue.” Choosing to participate in one’s religion is a defining moment, and by giving Jacob this choice, Adler has enriched his narrative considerably. Illustrations feature multi-ethnic characters, reflecting the diversity within the Jewish community. The depiction of Jonah in the belly of the whale is particularly charming, while a silhouette of a man blowing the shofar as the sun goes down brings the solemn holiday to a fitting end. A “Note for Families” discusses Sandy Koufax’s stance and asks readers what they think about Jacob’s decision. Highly recommended for ages 5 – 10.