One lousy miracle.Â Is that too much to ask?
Evidently so for Joel, as he tries to survive Hannukah, 1971 in the suburbs of the suburbs of Los Angeles (or, as he calls it, âThe Land of Shriveled Dreamsâ). Thatâs no small task when youâre a âseriously funny-lookingâ twelve-year-old magician who dreams of being his own superhero: Normalman.Â And Joelâs a long way from that as the only Jew at Bixby School, where his attempts to make himself disappear fail spectacularly.Â Home is no better, with a family thatâs not just mortifyingly embarrassing but flat-out broke.Â
Thatâs why Joelâs betting everything on these eight nights, to see whether itâs worth believing in God or miracles or anything at all.Â Armed with his favorite jokes, some choice Yiddish words, and a suitcase full of magic tricks, heâs scrambling to come to terms with the world he lives inâfrom hospitals to Houdini to the Holocaustâbefore the last of the candles burns out.
No wonder his head is spinning: Heâs got dreidels on the brain. And little does he know that whatâs actually about to happen to him and his family this Hanukkah will be worse than heâd feared . . .Â And better than he could have imagined.
From the Hardcover edition.
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