Neal Porter Books The Passover Guest
Neal Porter Books The Passover Guest

The Passover Guest

By Susan Kusel


Publication Date: January 2, 2024

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Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3

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

About the Author

Susan Kusel is a synagogue librarian and children's book buyer for an independent bookstore. She has served as a member of the Caldecott Medal selection committee and the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. The Passover Guest is Kusel's first picture book. She lives in Arlington, VA.

Author Residence: Arlington, VA

Sean Rubin has illustrated several books for children. He wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Bolivar, which was nominated for an Eisner award and is being adapted into a feature film with Fox Studios. He also illustrated The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The Story of Alan Bean by Dean Robbins. Rubin studied art and archeology at Princeton University. He lives in Charleston, VA.

Illustrator Residence:Charleston, VA

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 40 pages

Publisher: Neal Porter Books

Publication Date: January 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780823453221

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