monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Passover Festival of FreedomPublisher: Orca, 2016

During Passover, Jews are reminded of how, more than three thousand years ago, their ancestors emerged from slavery to become free men and women.

Bestselling author Monique Polak explores her own Jewish roots as she tells the Passover story, which reminds us that the freedom to be who we are and practice our religion, whatever it may be, is a great gift. It also teaches us that if we summon our courage and look out for each other, we can endure and overcome the most challenging circumstances. Enlivened by personal stories, Passover reminds us that we can all endure and overcome the most challenging circumstances.

"Passover: Festival of Freedom is a must-have title, whether readers are already knowledgeable about the holiday’s history and rituals or learning about them for the first time." -- Jewish Book Council

"While this title in the Orca Origins series explains the holiday of Passover, it also goes further. In the introduction, Polak remembers her associations with the holiday while growing up in Montreal, mostly through friends’ seders...The sections in which the Holocaust survivors remember is both chilling and moving...Kids’ holiday rituals and personal stories make for an interesting mix. Illustrated with many color photos, this unique take on an ancient holiday should resonate with readers." -- Booklist

"An overview of the holiday of Passover is elaborated with personal narratives, the story's connection to the Holocaust, and various Seder customs practiced in several countries around the world...A plethora of photographs, informational sidebars, drawings, and recipes break up the substantial yet enlightening text. Good supplementary material to increase the holiday's meaning and currency for older children." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Each chapter is detailed with an abundance of information...Personal stories of Holocaust survivors, Ben and Liselotte, add to the appeal and authenticity of this title...A helpful glossary, and a list of references and resources are also included. Passover is the first in a series of books in the 'Orca Origins' series which will examine 'ancient traditions kept alive in the modern world." -- CM Magazine

"The author does a thorough job of describing the origins of Passover, the intricacies of the seder, and the importance of this event to Jews around the world. She makes it accessible to middle-grade readers, regardless of their ethnicity, by including the stories of specific individuals.... The result is a lively read, illustrated with many photos." -- Montreal Gazette