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Susan Kusel

The Passover Guest

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Muriel's family can't afford a Passover seder this year— but an act of kindness and a mysterious stranger change everything.

It's the spring of 1933 in Washington, D.C., and the Great Depression is hitting young Muriel's family hard. Her father has lost his job, and her family barely has enough food for their daily meals, let alone for a Passover seder. They don't even have any wine to fill the prophet Elijah's ceremonial cup.

With no feast to rush home to, Muriel wanders by the Lincoln Memorial, where she encounters a magician performing astonishing feats. In awe, Muriel sets her last penny at his feet. 

That night, Muriel and her family experience a holiday miracle. What mysterious benefactor has filled the seder table? When Muriel sees Elijah's cup is empty again, she has a good idea.

This fresh retelling of the classic I.L. Peretz story, best known through Uri Shulevitz's 1973 adaptation The Magician, has been richly illustrated by noted graphic novelist Sean Rubin, who based his art on photographs of D.C. in the 1930s. An author's note with information about the Passover holiday is included.

An Association of Jewish Libraries Spring Holiday Highlight
A Booklist Editors' Choice
A CSMCL Best Multicultural Children's Book of the Year
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