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The Golem of Prague

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–7
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: W.6.4,6,7,8,9,9a,10
SL.6.1,1a,1c,1d,3,4,

Reading Level: Lexile 820L
Hardcover : 9781554518883, 52 pages, March 2017 , 10.5" x 8.25"

Excerpt

The Golem took a step forward. His head reached up to the
second-story windows. His body was as large as the houses. Calmly,
he moved through the frenzied crowd. He lifted up men and beasts
as if they were wisps of straw and used his fists to destroy anything
that blocked his way. Paralyzed with fear, some people did not try to
run away but closed their eyes, waiting for death. Others ran as fast
as they could. All around him, men and animals rushed around like
insects. The Golem flattened them with his hand. Some people tried
to fight him, but the arrows launched at the Golem slid down his
body like thin rivulets of water. Spears barely pierced the clay before
falling to the ground. Soon, the terrified attackers drew back, realizing
they could neither kill nor wound the Golem. He was indestructible.
The Golem turned and walked toward the Maharal, who had not
budged. With his eyes cast down, he was waiting for the creature.
Together, they went through the Paryska Gate while, one after
another, the Jews came out of their homes through the barricaded
windows and doors.
A long and joyful cry arose, “Golem! Golem”
But the Golem’s face showed no emotion; he had a strange look
that made those who came near him uneasy...

Description

This retelling of an ancient Jewish legend will capture a new audience with its powerful illustrations and timeless text.
The legend of the Golem dates back to the 1500s when the Jews of Prague were being viciously persecuted. Their spiritual leader, Rabbi Loew, also known as The Maharal of Prague, created a formidable creature out of clay whose mission it was to protect the Jews of the city. This beautiful picture book with its lyrical text and evocative illustrations, retells the story of the Golem through the eyes of a young boy, Frantz. Despite warnings to never enter the attic in the synagogue, Frantz climbs up. There, he is transported back to the time when the Golem was created, and eventually destroyed. A blend of mysticism, the supernatural, and even romance makes this a haunting picture book for children ages 8 to 12.

Reviews

Mister Doctor, written and illustrated by the same team, received the following awards:
USBBY’s Honor List of Outstanding International Books
Sydney Taylor Book Award, Notable Book
National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA), Bronze
Independent Publishers Book Award, Gold
Praise for Mister Doctor
“Haunting and memorable.” —Kirkus Reviews, *starred review
“The remarkable true story of Dr. Janusz Korczak is told through text and stunningly somber illustrations.” —Literacy Daily, International Reading Association
“This sensitively written history … belongs in all Holocaust collections.” —Association of Jewish Libraries
“Emotionally evocative and haunting illustrations enhance this beautiful book.” —Jewish Book Council, *starred review

“Beautifully written with poetic language and a sense of horror and wonder.” 

- Youth Services Book Review, 03/15/19

“Quarello’s atmospheric, shaded pencil drawings (some in color) depict Prague as both a realistic and magical place, and convey the tale’s eerie mood.” 

- Booklist, 03/23/17

“A sweet, heart-warming story that was surprisingly moving.” 

- The Reporter, 04/28/17

“Strange and powerful.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 02/01/17

“Readers who enjoy gothic creepiness will be drawn in.” 

- School Library Journal, 03/01/17

“The story of the Golem, alongside the spectacular art by Italian award-winning artist Maurizio A. C. Quarello, serves its purpose of offering young readers a glimpse into the centuries-old Jewish folklore.” 

- The Canadian Jewish News, 04/11/17

“Raises intriguing and unanswered questions about fate and love, faith and identity.” 

- Horn Book Magazine, 07/17