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The Golem of Prague

The Golem of Prague

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–7
Reading Level:
Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature:

Hardcover : 9781554518883, 52 pages, March 2017 , 10.5" x 8.25"


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


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.


“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

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

- Horn Book Magazine, 07/17

Mister Doctor, written and illustrated by the same team, received the following awards:USBBY’s Honor List of Outstanding International BooksSydney Taylor Book Award, Notable BookNational Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA), BronzeIndependent Publishers Book Award, GoldPraise 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

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

- School Library Journal, 03/01/17

“Strange and powerful. ”

- Kirkus Reviews, 02/01/17

“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

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

- Youth Services Book Review, 03/15/19

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

- The Reporter, 04/28/17