It’s time again for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. This annual Fall challenge is something I’ve enjoyed for many years. However, this year has been a strange one, and October has been a challenging one for us, so I’m not going to be able to spend the kind of time I usually give to this day of reading. But I am reading and listening as much as I can, and am enjoying the time I can devote to reading today.
In line with my focus on more cultural diversity in my reading choices, I checked out from the library a number of books about different winter holidays. I’ll list them here, as I finish reading them today.
- A Parakeet Named Dreidel, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
From the publisher: When young David and Mama and Papa are celebrating Hanukkah one frosty winter evening in Brooklyn, Papa sees a parakeet sitting on the window ledge. He lets the parakeet in and everyone is delighted to find that it speaks Yiddish. They name it Dreidel and it becomes part of their family.
- Diwali: Festival of Lights, by Rina Singh.
From the publisher: During Diwali, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate the legends and stories that describe the triumph of good over evil and justice over oppression. Critically acclaimed author Rina Singh explores her Indian roots as she tells the Diwali stories, which remind us that eventually light will prevail over darkness.
- Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, by Eric A. Kimmel.
From the publisher: It is the first night of Hanukkah. Hershel of Ostropol is walking down the road. Tired and hungry, he is looking forward to reaching the next village. He is sure that bright candles, merry songs, and platters of potato latkes will be waiting for him. But when he reaches the village, Hershel discovers that the villagers aren’t celebrating Hanukkah. They’re too scared of the goblins that haunt the old synagogue at the top of the hill. Hershel wants to help the village people. “If I can’t outwit a few goblins,” Hershel tells the rabbit, “then my name isn’t Hershel of Ostropol.”
- Chinese New Year: A Celebration for Everyone, by Jen Lee.
From the publisher: From its beginnings as a farming celebration marking the end of winter to its current role as a global party featuring good food, lots of gifts and public parades, Chinese New Year is a snapshot of Chinese culture.
- Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, by Angela Shelf Medearis.
From the publisher: In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.
- Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik, by Scott Hilton Davis.
From the publisher: Celebrate the holiday of Chanukah with eight original short stories by Jewish storyteller Scott Hilton Davis. Enjoy a fun-filled journey to Oykvetchnik, the tiny shtetl town in Eastern Europe where people complain a lot (except during Chanukah when they seem to be a little more charitable).
Evening Update: I had a very nice time reading today, although it wasn’t a lot of time. I enjoyed each of my holiday choices. The book by Isaac Bashevis Singer was a treasure. I listened to the audiobook of Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik, and loved it. What a wonderful storyteller! All of them are books I would recommend for sharing with family during the holidays.
So another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon comes to an end for me (no, I don’t stay up all night reading anymore). I look forward to the next one, in April.
Happy reading, my friends! And happy holidays coming up soon!
The Isaac Bashevis Singer one looks great – putting that on my December reading list. I like the diversity of your selections.
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Jane, were you able to find the Isaac Bashevis Singer book?