A humorous book with a dark theme was this year’s deserving winner of the National Jewish Book Award (from the Jewish Book Council) and a Sydney Taylor Award Honoree.
Noah and his best friend, Dash, are typical seventh graders trying to juggle family life, friendships, girls and their upcoming bar mitzvahs. Noah idolizes Dash’s dad, Gil (Noah has two moms), and is unaware that he suffers from depression. Gil and the two boys share a crazy sense of humor, and Noah is seemingly on track to become a stand-up comedian through his fervent studies of old comedy records and YouTube clips.
When the tragedy of Gil’s death by suicide occurs, Noah is unsure how to console his pal or if joking around can still form the basis of their friendship. The (non-stereotypical) depiction of the understanding and funny rabbi helping the boys prepare for their bar mitzvahs is particularly welcome. The author has taken on the difficult subject of how to be a friend to someone who has experienced loss, which serves to be quite instructive for young readers.
The inclusion of so much humor, history of Jewish comedians, and plain, old seventh-grade angst makes this book a standout title that deals with an important subject. -- Lisa Silverman, April 10th, 2019, Jewish Journal, retrieved from https://jewishjournal.com/culture/books/296795/a-graphic-novel-haggadah-three-picture-books-and-two-award-winners-for-kids/