Today I will be discussing a cross section of David Adler’s books. These books include a new short chapter book series, a middle level historical fiction book, and a Holocaust picture book. I have also included links to my previous reviews of Passover and Sukkot picture books.
Do you have a favorite David Adler book?
David is participating in a book giveaway. Remember to leave a comment on this blog so that you will be eligible.
Danny’s Doodles (2013, 2014, & 2015)
In 2013, David Adler started a short chapter books series geared to early readers. The books focus on Danny Cohen, an easygoing fourth grader. Danny’s peers have reoccurring roles in each book. Like the Cam Jansen series, the books can be read out of sequence. However, a better understanding of the characters’ traits are apparent after reading more than one book.
Each book showcases a Jewish value. In the first book, the targeted content focuses on the significance of welcoming a stranger. Danny effectively models how children can reach out to a new student in a classroom and make them feel part of a community. Next month, the second book will be published. It emphasizes the importance of returning lost things. Danny helps locate his frazzled teacher’s lost pet. Next year’s book will focus on the value of visiting the sick.
Even though the main character, Danny, is Jewish and Jewish values are included in the series, the cultural and religious references are minimal. Some readers may even miss the subtle clues. Instead, readers are drawn to the friendships that are forged between the characters and their ability to tackle the issues that they confront.
David Adler is an expert at creating quick dialogues and concise narratives that keep early readers engaged. Children looking for a lighthearted story with a handful of unique characters should not hesitate to start reading this new series.
Don’t Talk To Me About the War (2008)
As more and more schools emphasize basic math and language arts skills, most students are rarely exposed to historical content. Historical fiction is an ideal way to bridge this gap and learn about previous eras. Don’t Talk to Me About the War, takes middle level readers on a journey back to life in America during World War II. Tommy Duncan and his teenage friends share the latest happenings after reading newspaper stories and listening to the radio. These tidbits of information derive from actual newspaper stories and radio shows. Thus, the novel provides excellent insight into this time period on multiple levels. Facts surrounding 1940s baseball are also sprinkled throughout the story. Readers will instantly be able to compare today’s acquisition of information with the limited access in the 1940s.
As America tries to decide its future role in the war, Tommy gradually becomes more aware of what is happening overseas. His perspective expands beyond the confines of his life in New York. He develops compassion as he listens to one of his Jewish friends recount some of the personal horrors of the Holocaust. His conversations with his friends make him more aware of the European crisis. His character matures in the process.
Additionally, he watches hopelessly as his mother suffers from an undiagnosed illness. While thinking about his mother’s first doctor’s appointment, Tommy starts to put his life into perspective. “No matter what is happening in your life, the world moves on.” 77 After his mother is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Tommy must make personal sacrifices and choices that illustrate his character’s strength.
The pace of the story is kept in check by the interaction between the characters. Tommy’s friendships provide an understanding of his characters strengths and weaknesses. His response to his mother’s health also sheds light on his ability to cope with a challenging family situation. The memorable characters and well paced story will keep young readers interested in this historical fiction story set in the 1940s.
One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story (1999)
A great book will touch your heart and your soul. One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story will undoubtedly cause a tear to form in one’s eye. From the start of the story, listeners and readers try to understand the mysterious man who “remembers a time, long ago, when everything was dark and sad. One spring morning he saw a bright yellow flower growing in a most unlikely place. That flower gave him hope and courage.”
Page by page more information is provided. Within no time readers start to admire the older man, Morris Kaplan, who has a special relationship with two Jewish children Every Friday afternoon, Morris arranges and sells generous flower arrangements to the children.
During Hanukkah, Morris is invited to the children’s home. He recalls his childhood celebrations. After being a child Holocaust survivor, Morris lost his desire to maintain his heritage. Sharing Hanukkah with this family helps reawaken his Jewish identity.
This is a memorable picture book that can be read year round as well as during Hanukkah and for a Holocaust unit.
David sent me copies of the books listed above in exchange for an honest interview and review.
Links to Additional Reviews of David Adler Books
Do you have a favorite David Adler book? Leave your response and be eligible for a book giveaway.
Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog by Sunday, August 24 will be eligible for a book giveaway. David Adler will send the randomly selected winner an autographed copy of Danny’s Doodle.
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon. Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons. The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and received an Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.