Fall 2019

A Dreidel in Time

A New Spin on an Old Tale

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 7   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Devorah and Benjamin are excited to open their Hanukkah present from Bubbe and Zayde, which turns out to be an ugly old dreidel. It’s a big disappointment—until the dreidel transports them out of modern Los Angeles to join the ancient Maccabees! Once they convince a suspicious Judah Maccabee and their new friends that they’ve arrived to help, they use what they know about the Hanukkah story from Hebrew school to aid the Maccabees in their battle against Antiochus. The kids know that the miracle of Hanukkah relies on finding the special oil for the Temple menorah, but where can it be?

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$17.99 $13.49
Temporarily out of stock
$8.99 $8.99
$35.99 $26.99
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 7
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Fiction
Copyright 2019
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 88
Publication Date 2019-09-01
BISACS JUV033020, JUV017110
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Lexile 570
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed


Jewish Book Council

“This enchant­i­ng book is illus­trat­ed in a cheer­ful, bright style which adds to the fun. Chil­dren of today will learn that Hanukkah is less about gifts and more about iden­ti­ty, brav­ery, and determination.” —Jewish Book Council

Kirkus Reviews

“This exciting retelling of the Hanukkah story should appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish children.”―Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“This accessible chapter book tells the story of the events that led to the first Hanukkah. Devorah and Benjamin are disappointed when they receive an old dreidel from their Bubbe as a Hanukkah present. However, when they spin the dreidel, they are shocked to find themselves in ancient Modi’in with the Maccabees. Devorah and Benjamin land in the middle of the action as the Maccabees fight the soldiers of King Antiochus and try to reclaim their right to practice their religion. The two children have such an impact that it is implied that the Maccabees wouldn’t have succeeded without them. The miracle oil that lasted eight nights is briefly introduced at the end of the story. There are a couple of time jumps that break up the flow of the plot. The black-and-white illustrations enhance the action. All the characters are depicted as white. VERDICT A fun introduction to the story of Hanukkah. Recommended for libraries seeking Jewish stories for their early chapter book sections.”―School Library Journal

Illustrator: Beatriz Castro

Beatriz Castro was born in Logroño, La Rioja, Spain. As a little girl, she was always drawing and writing stories. A graduate of the School of Arts of Logroño, her illustrations have appeared on covers and in books produced by a variety of international publishers.

Author: Marcia Berneger

Marcia Berneger is a retired teacher who lives with her husband and three crazy dogs. She currently teaches Torah school in addition to volunteering in classrooms, libraries and with various fundraisers. She loves the way books teach children how to navigate their world and soar. She lives in San Diego.