Hanukkah at Valley Forge (rev ed)
The general stood tall on a ridge at Valley Forge, surveying his troops below. The December night was clear, but the wind cut cruelly through his heavy coat. The general shook his head, shrugging the cold aside.
It was his soldiers he was worried about . . .
An encounter with a Polish immigrant Continental soldier lighting Hanukkah candles in his tent strengthens General George Washington resolve duithe most desperate winter of the AMerican Revolution as he draws connections between the Maccabees' fight for freedom against the Greeks and the American fight for independence. A fictional story based on an entry in George Washington's diary.
Prolific children’s author Stephen Krensky is out with a brand-new edition of Hanukkah at Valley Forge, which depicts a fictional encounter between George Washington and a Jewish soldier during the American Revolution. Fifteen years after its original publication, Krensky’s story still feels distinctly relevant. On a December night, General Washington walks through the freezing camp of his Continental Army and notices a soldier lighting a Hanukkah candle. He questions the young Polish immigrant and learns the story of the Maccabees’ struggle for freedom against the Greeks, drawing connections with the Americans’ fight against another powerful oppressor. The conversation leaves Washington with a renewed sense of faith in the cause of independence. Krensky’s text feels steeped in history, and Harlin’s beautiful watercolor paintings bring the scenes to life with warm colors and vivid detail. An author’s note discusses the factual basis for the story. This interesting perspective on the Hanukkah story is best for older children.
Sarah Yahr Tucker, HADASSAH MAGAZINE
A soldier tells George Washington the miraculous story of how a ragtag army of Jewish soldiers defeated a much larger force of powerful Greeks, a tale that provides just the kind of inspiration the General needs. Quietly beautiful watercolor illustrations draw a visual distinction between the frigid blue Pennsylvania night and the golden light of ancient Israel, which is further reflected in the warm glow of the Hanukkah candles.
--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Krensky's Revolutionary War-set Hanukkah tale, based on a historical anecdote and featuring General George Wshington learning about the holiday from an unnamed Jewish soldier, has been modestly revised from its 2006 edition, with small edits and a new appended author's note. A Sydney Taylor Book Award winner, the story, which draws parellels between the Maccabees and the Continental Army, is illustrated with watercolor paintings both somber and luminous, reflecting the struggles for freedom--and the light of Hanukkah.
--Elissa Gershowitz for HORN BOOK