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kid

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Ben's Bonkers Bar Mitzvah

by: Ivor Baddiel  

Ages

9+
Something very strange is happening in Ben’s universe. His bar mitzvah is on Saturday, but the synagogue has disappeared! And that’s only the beginning… 
Ages 9+
Pages 144
Publisher Green Bean Books
Coming Jul 2023
Awards
PJ Our Way Author Incentive Award Winner

Average Rating

41 Reviews
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What the Book Is About

Ben is preparing for his bar mitzvah with some trepidation. When he tells his family that the synagogue disappeared – likely stolen by aliens – they think it’s just Ben's anxiety getting the best of him. Luckily, Ben's grandfather believes him, and together they hatch a plan to save the bar mitzvah – and the world. This is a silly book with plenty of humor, but also more serious moments of kindness and courage. 

Jewish Content & Values

  • Ben’s bar mitzvah is central to the story. 

  • Ben’s older brother demonstrates chesed, or kindness, as he confesses that he was very nervous before his own bar mitzvah.  

  • A key scene takes place in the temple (called the Yiddish shul throughout the book) during Ben’s bar mitzvah.  

  • Grandpa says that Ben’s parsha (Torah portion) includes Moses saying to the children of Israel, "Be strong and have courage, fear not, nor be afraid." That inspires Ben to show courage and strength as he faces the aliens. 

Content Advisory

Ben sees aliens taking over the bodies of humans and hears them plotting to take over the planet. It’s possible that a very sensitive reader may have a moment of worry, but it’s all done in a light-hearted way, there’s a happy ending, and the cartoon illustrations underline the book’s humor. 
What the Book Is About

What the Book Is About

Ben is preparing for his bar mitzvah with some trepidation. When he tells his family that the synagogue disappeared – likely stolen by aliens – they think it’s just Ben's anxiety getting the best of him. Luckily, Ben's grandfather believes him, and together they hatch a plan to save the bar mitzvah – and the world. This is a silly book with plenty of humor, but also more serious moments of kindness and courage. 

Jewish Content & Values

  • Ben’s bar mitzvah is central to the story. 

  • Ben’s older brother demonstrates chesed, or kindness, as he confesses that he was very nervous before his own bar mitzvah.  

  • A key scene takes place in the temple (called the Yiddish shul throughout the book) during Ben’s bar mitzvah.  

  • Grandpa says that Ben’s parsha (Torah portion) includes Moses saying to the children of Israel, "Be strong and have courage, fear not, nor be afraid." That inspires Ben to show courage and strength as he faces the aliens. 

Content Advisory

Ben sees aliens taking over the bodies of humans and hears them plotting to take over the planet. It’s possible that a very sensitive reader may have a moment of worry, but it’s all done in a light-hearted way, there’s a happy ending, and the cartoon illustrations underline the book’s humor.