Editorial Review

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

Cover: Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles

“Jacob loves Hanukkah, but is frustrated with the way it’s celebrated at his house. His brother Nathan, a boy on the autism spectrum, obsesses about the holiday and ruins the night by blowing out the candles as if they were on a birthday cake. When a new friend, Steven, moves into the neighborhood, Jacob is happy to have someone to play with but Steven is not tolerant of Nathan’s differences. When Steven and Jacob try to spin dreidls, Nathan fixates on the whirling motion and Steven proclaims Nathan ‘weird,’ and Jacob must deal with the conflicts and embarrassment felt by many siblings of kids with special needs. This is an important book on many levels. Not only does it address how family’s deal with a child’s differences in the home, but it validates Jacob’s exasperation of making allowances for Nathan. Jacob is not chastised or told that his emotions are wrong, but his parents do expect him to be understanding which is hard for any youngster. When Jacob prays for a Hanukkah miracle that Nathan could be like other kids, we learn how deeply sensitive he is to the situation. Jacob tries to explain Nathan’s ‘faulty wiring’ to Steven, but Steven isn’t an automatic convert. Only Jacob’s construction of an edible menorah, ‘Nathan-style,’ convinces Steven that different is sometimes okay. This Hanukkah book has heart and an important message, both for families that share the experience of raising a child with autism and those who wish they could make their children kinder to children with disabilities.”—Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

Products Reviewed

Title  
Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles
  • Available in limited formats
  • Soon! Fall 2020
  • New! Spring 2020
  • New! Fall 2019

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