Almost a Minyan, by Lori S. Kline, REVIEW Lone Star Book Blogger Tour

Genre: Picture Book / Jewish Traditions
Publisher: Sociosights Press
Date of Publication: April 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 40
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Will she be the one to take Grandfather’s place?

According to Jewish tradition, a quorum of ten adults is required for public worship. Almost a Minyan traces the story of a young girl whose father and grandfather are regular participants in the town’s minyan - until her beloved Zayde passes on.

Without him, it is even harder for her father to find enough people to make a minyan. Then one day, he brings Zayde’s tefillin to his eldest daughter. A striking new addition to the diverse books movement, Almost a Minyan shares important Hebrew terms and religious concepts through a compelling and beautifully illustrated story for children.

* * *


“A warmhearted introduction to coming-of-age in a worship community.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A story of inclusion, belonging and equality. I loved the modern, egalitarian, and traditional values shared in this meaningful story. This is a wonderful modern story for our children and grandchildren!”

Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray

Congregation Shir Shalom, CT

Founder of the Women Cantors’ Network

“A delightful read for girls and boys alike, this poetic family tale brings a wonderful sentimentality to daily Jewish prayers. Moreover, the beauty of the illustrations contributes additional warmth to this snapshot of Jewish life. A nice addition for all libraries and all ages.”

Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, DHL, DD

Congregation B’nai Israel, Galveston


Lori Sales Kline heralds from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, which hosts a wonderfully rich Jewish community that fueled her love for Jewish tradition, ritual and practice at home and at, “the shul.”  Following her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin, Lori chose to make Austin her home, largely due to the spiritual connection she felt in the close-knit Austin Jewish community.  In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, celebrating Judaism with her husband and son, and friends. She previously authored the children’s picture book,  Josiah’s Dreams.


Special shout out to the publisher and the ARTIST, please take a look, but come right back for the giveaway!

Sociosights Publishing/Devorah Winegarten:

Artist Susan Simon

"Almost a Minyan," by Lori Sales Kline, (with beautiful artwork by Susan Simon), is sweetness all over, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants their children to experience a story about waiting, growing up, family, loss, tradition and faith. 

A Minyan is the required ten Jewish adults for prayer service.  This children's picture book surprised me, because, as a Christian who enjoys learning about the Jewish faith, and who cut her come-of-age literary teeth on Chaim Potok's "The Chosen" (which greatly affected my life), I was surprised to see a story about a young girl and her father anxiously awaiting the day when she would be old enough to form a minyan.  (My understanding is that, traditionally, a minyan was made up of ten men, from the example of the ten spies sent into Jericho.  Now in some shuls, women are allowed.)

The problem is, when there are not ten, so that a minyan is not made, our little girl's father and his group of dedicated faithful do not get to have their prayer service.  They cannot even read the Torah.  But when there are enough, her father is so happy. 

Clearly, the book is symbolic of so much, but it is also just a sweet story of a little girl and her father who must wait for her to grow old enough to be counted as an adult.  When we were parenting our now grown babies, my husband and I really believed in delayed gratification.  There is simply so little of it these days, and it builds character. Here, the story of this waiting is told in rhyme.  I loved each second of it, and each page as well.  I could see myself happily reading this over and over again to youngsters. 

Thank you to each of the women involved in this book, Lori  S. Kline for writing it, Susan Simon on your lucky 18th illustrated book, and Debra L. Winegarten for publishing it.  Also, I loved the dedication to Rabbi Sales, the author's brother who mentored her and inspired her to find her own voice in a minyan.  Having several of those such men in my own life, I am thankful for each additional one that I encounter.

Readers, I hope you'll purchase this book for that special child in your life. At the very least, I hope you'll enter the give away and add it to your book lists. Blessings, and thank you for the advance review copy and the chance to think deeply about this book and give my honest opinion about it.


One Signed Copy of Almost A Minyan

March 24-April 7, 2017

(U.S. Only)


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