As I’ve observed several times, our greatest joy is in hearing from young readers who have enjoyed The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden. Of course, you say, what author does not enjoy good reviews? But there is something more going on here. Something much deeper. For when you read the book you’re also getting to know Ariel–our son Ariel, ZT”L; you see, the character of The Hebrew Kid is based on our son’s personality, his pious, generous nature; his core goodness. And so, reading The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden is also a bit like peering into a unique soul; a soul that I hope is etched, with some amount of accuracy, between the pages of our book.
Recently, Serpahic Friend Azriel Ganz kindly informed us that everyone in his family was reading The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden. He said that we should soon expect a book review from his daughter Rivka Miriam. True to his word, right before Shabbos, I received this review, and I wanted to share it.
Rivka Miriam’s review:
You’ve been emailing back and forth with my dad, Azriel Ganz and I was really excited when I found out I could write to you.
I really enjoyed reading your book. Actually, it took me no more than two nights to read it. Not because it was to easy. a) Because I could not put it down, and b) because I’m a book worm. But seriously, I think the way everything worked out was really cool.
Everything is depicted so well. I knew exactly what was going on and was able to picture it clearly. When you described how Rebecca (which is actually my name) kept her hands “soft and white” I was able to picture her long delicate fingers. I even felt her despair when she saw her ruined hands after she was saved from the scalp hunters.
Ariel was extremely smart for a twelve year old boy.(I am also twelve years old). Perhaps it was all of his Jewish studies. And his unique friendship with one of the most feared warriors of the age was especially interesting. And it was definitely useful.
Ariel’ s easy-going attitude and ability to see the good in everyone was probably his most useful weapon. Imagine if he had just taken out his gun and shot Doc Holliday with it instead of conversing with him and learning he was a good man, if not a bit crazy. No Bar-Mitzvah minyan for him.
I also learned alot about Yiddishkiet in this book, something I wouldn’t have expected from a book about the wild west.
The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden was very funny, very sad and very exciting. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to your next book.
Finally, my dad says hi.
Rivka Miriam Ganz
Thank you Rivka Miriam. I’m so glad you like my book. I hope you will recommend it to all your friends at school. Your review is amazingly sophisticated and articulate for one so young. You are very smart. You managed to pick up on one of the most important characteristics of The Hebrew Kid: his optimistic nature. No matter how bad things look, no matter how bleak, The Hebrew Kid forges ahead, determined to set things right. This is a uniquely American trait and mixed in with his Yiddishkiet, it brings forth a new kind of heroic model: the halachic man of action.
Finally, response to The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden has been so positive, sales have been so strong, and so many have urged me to make it into a series, that I have plunged into writing the next volume: The Hebrew Kid and Buffalo Bill.