The Story of the First Hanukkah
Publication Date: October 2002
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A young girl’s account of life in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.
When the hated Syrian-Greek king fills ancient Jerusalem with statues of Greek gods and destroys the Jewish temple, feisty Alexandra takes up reed pen, ink, and sheet of papyrus and turns “scribe.”
In her scroll Alexandra records the everyday happenings of her life, as well as the events of the Jewish rebellion led by the Maccabees. When her father joins the resistance against the Greek authorities, Alexandra must leave her friends and the city she loves. The victory of the Maccabees three years later returns the family to Jerusalem—to old friends, new ones and, for Alexandra, a new life.
Place and time are recreated in this story of a girl caught up in the events that led to the rebuilding of the temple, the miracle of oil that burns eight days, and the celebration of the first Hanukkah.
Miriam Chaikin, a former children’s book editor, is the author of over thirty books for young readers. Her most recent book, Don’t Step on the Sky, is a collection of haiku illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. Ms. Chaikin lives in New York City.
Stephen Fieser is the illustrator of five previous books, including The Sabbath Lion: A Jewish Folktale from Algeria, retold by Howard Schwartz and Barbara Rush. He and his wife live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.