Illustrated by Karla Gudeon

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A moving story of how one boy’s dedication and determination revitalized the Hebrew language in Israel.

In 1885, few Jews in Israel used the holy language of their ancestors, and Hebrew was in danger of being lost–until Ben-Zion and his father got involved. Through the help of his father and a community of children, Ben modernized the ancient language, creating a lexicon of new, modern words to bring Hebrew back into common usage. Historically influenced dialogue, engaging characters, and colorful art offer a linguistic journey about how language develops and how one person’s perseverance can make a real difference.

Influenced by illuminated manuscripts, Karla Gudeon’s illustrations bring Ben-Zion–and the rebirth of Hebrew–to life.


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Reviews

Michelson knows how to turn a complex story into both a brain tickler (how do you invent a word for “ice cream” or bicycle?) and a compelling emotional journey. (full review)
Publishers Weekly

A Lively introduction to the work of a Hebrew language scholar and lover — and his family. (full review)
Kirkus Review

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