|Aviva vs. the Dybbuk|
Author: Lowe, Mari
Since the "accident" that took her father's life, Aviva has lived with her emotionally distressed mother in a tiny apartment above the mikvah that serves the women of their Orthodox Jewish community. As problems with other girls at school arise, the dybbuk, a ghostly boy who makes himself visible only to Aviva, appears and does his best to cause trouble. The dybbuk's antics start to get worse and worse as her town experiences a frightening escalation of anti-Semitic violence and vandalism.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/01/22)
School Library Journal (02/01/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/22)
The Hornbook (00/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2021 Sixth-grader Aviva Jacobs and her mother live next door to their temple, in rooms above the mikvah (ritual bath), rumored to be haunted by a dybbuk (a ghost with unfinished earthly business) that only Aviva can see. In the years since her father’s accidental death, Aviva and Ema have mostly kept to themselves, locked in their grief. When a schoolyard game of machanayim (a dodgeball-like sport) becomes too rough, Aviva and her former best friend, Kayla, are punished for their actions by being forced to work together to plan a school bas mitzvah social event. And while working together renews the girls’ friendship, several acts of antisemetic vandalism put their community on edge. Is this terrorism or the work of the dybbuk? Debut author Lowe offers an insider’s view of a close-knit Orthodox Jewish community where much of daily life is prescribed in gender-segregated activities. The dybbuk mystery is well-handled, as are the secrets surrounding Abba’s death, which Aviva has blocked from her consciousness. A compassionate look at grief and healing. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2022 Gr 3–7—After losing her father in a terrible accident, 11-year-old Aviva Jacobs and her mother move into a small apartment above the local mikvah, a traditional bathhouse for orthodox Jewish women. Aviva's mother takes care of the mikvah and those who visit it, and Aviva takes care of the dybbuk, a mischievous spirit in Jewish folklore. Aviva's dybbuk is a real troublemaker. From tearing up checks to spilling out the contents of visitor's purses, it keeps Aviva on her toes. As Aviva tries to manage the dybbuk, she must also work with her ex–best friend to plan the most amazing Bat Mitzvah Bash that her school has ever seen. As she juggles the stresses of school, friends, and an increasingly tense situation at home, Aviva discovers her inner strength and the resilience of her community. Many readers will find Aviva charming and relatable as she navigates the roller coaster that is growing up. VERDICT A strong purchase for every school and public library. In this tale that's at times funny, sad, and scary, Lowe seamlessly crafts a coming-of-age story that readers will enjoy.—Maryjean Riou - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.