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Parents' Guide to

All-of-a-Kind Family Series

By Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Loving stories of a large Jewish family in 1915 New York.

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These were among the first children's books that focused on Jewish characters, and author Sydney Taylor was careful to explain the significance of each holiday the family celebrates. Readers learn about the food and prayers of a Seder, the rules for observing the Sabbath, about the history of Passover, and more -- all surrounded by a family's love. The kids' everyday events have surprising depth, and are complex enough to keep readers' interest. Amid the everyday, the big events tackle politics: Workers' rights are a running theme, and the women's suffrage movement is in full force. There are layers to the story that readers will understand as they mature; the nuances of immigration, and Papa's acceptance that prayers will be heard whether they're said in English or Hebrew is a subtle acknowledgement that life is always changing. These sweet, enthralling books are full of kindness and family love, and they give a glimpse into a world that is both 100 years old and still relevant today.

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