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A Donut in Time: A Hanukkah Story

Jennifer Naalchigar
Saralee Siegel can do extraordinary things with her super-nose. But when a smell cloud sends her back in time, she could lose everything.
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Saralee Siegel can do extraordinary things with her super-nose. But when a smell cloud sends her back in time, she could lose everything.

Saralee is stunned to learn that she's not the only one in the family with a superpower. Her great-grandmother Gigi also had a magical sense of smell. And when Saralee makes Gigi's Hanukkah donut recipe, the scent creates a portal in time. 

Soon Saralee finds herself face-to-face with a young Gigi--and she's not the fierce, unstoppable person Saralee imagined. Gigi's ready to give up on her dreams. Saralee needs to help her find courage, or the future will be changed forever!

In this third book in the “­Saralee Siegel” series, Saralee discovers a new facet to her superpowered nose. It is ­Hanukkah at the Siegel House Restaurant, and ­Saralee is stunned to learn that she is not the only one in her family with a super-nose. Her great-grandmother Gigi, the fierce and independent woman who started the family ­restaurant, also had a ­super-nose. When Saralee recreates Gigi’s ­donut recipe, the smells lead her through a portal and face-to-face with a young Gigi. To Saralee’s surprise, Gigi is embarrassed by her super-nose and isn’t the confident and strong woman Saralee was expecting. She tries to help Gigi become the successful restaurant owner she was meant to be ­before Saralee’s whole world is changed. The pacing and the text of the story are perfect for readers who are new to chapter books. Jewish culture and the celebration of ­Hanukkah are woven seamlessly into the story. The black-and-white illustrations that are peppered throughout enhance the story. The text does not define many of the physical characteristics of the characters; within the illustrations all but one minor character are depicted as white. ­VERDICT A sweet story celebrating Jewish culture and sprinkled with a little bit of magic. –V. Lynn Christiansen, School Library Journal

In the third book of this amus­ing series, pro­tag­o­nist Sar­alee Siegel uses the mag­i­cal pow­er of her super nose to trav­el back in time. There, she meets her great-grand­moth­er, Gigi, and encour­ages her to fol­low her dream of found­ing a restau­rant. Sar­alee uses the scent of Gigi’s aro­mat­ic Hanukkah donuts as the por­tal for her trip to the past. When Gigi’s courage begins to wane, and her resolve to start a restau­rant buck­les under a lack of sup­port, Sar­alee reminds her great-grand­moth­er that her choic­es will affect the future of her family. A fun, deli­cious romp through the past and the present, A Donut in Time is a charm­ing read, instill­ing in a sweet hol­i­day tale the mes­sage that some chal­lenges are worth pursuing. --Michal Malen, Jewish Book Council


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