Review of The Boston Chocolate Party

The Boston Chocolate PartyThe Boston Chocolate Party
by Tami Lehman-Wilzig and Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz; illus. by Fede Combi
Primary    Apples & Honey/Behrman    32 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-68115-576-0    $17.95

Lehman-Wilzig and Prinz set their story during Hanukkah 1773 in the American colonies, centering ­Sephardic New England Jews. Protagonist ­Joshua’s friend Isaac and his family have meager resources to celebrate Janucá (the Spanish name for Hanukkah), but innovation from Joshua, and chocolate (an alternative to tea!) imported by Joshua’s father and his crew, provide help. The Boston Tea Party actually took place on the last night of Hanukkah; the somewhat lengthy text draws connections between the colonists’ “fight for freedom” and the ­Maccabees’. The muted palette of Combi’s digital-looking illustrations lends a historic feel. Back ­matter provides more information about Hanukkah, the Boston Tea Party, and early ­American Sephardic Jews—and, of course, recipes.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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