For this month’s Chai Reading, our whole class read the book The Cross by Day, the Mezuzzah by Night, by Deborah Spector Siegel. We had five choices for a Chai Reading project. I chose number 3, Character Traits. In that, we are supposed to take a main character from the book and compare him/her to us, using a Venn Diagram. I chose the character Papa, Isabel’s (the main character) father.
Now, to start out with Papa. Papa is Isabel’s father. He is the father of three, and the Royal Tax Collector of Seville. He is the leader of the family, and the one with all of the great ideas. He is a Maranno, and keeps his Judaism a secret. However, this does not deter him from practicing it in the cellar. He is also very smart and wise. He comes from Seville, Spain. He mostly teaches others, although he can occasionally learn. He shows much concern for people, especially for his fellow Marannos. He helps them sneak out of Spain.
Next, for me. I am a son, and a brother of three. I come from Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America. I am a student of Duval County. I am also smart, but not wise. I am a free Jew, and can practice my Judaism openly. I am lucky enough to have freedom. I mostly learn from others. I can also be stubborn and not listen.
Finally, our similarities. We both care about Judaism. We’re both smart and leaders. We aren’t afraid of our enemies. We both have a strong belief in God. We both help others, and are willing to sacrifice all for our family and friends.
The book was average, in my opinion. The plot was very slow, and the ending was left open, like the author didn’t have enough time to finish writing. The plot itself, I would give four stars. The ending would recieve two, and the book in general three stars. I would reccommend it for ages 9 and up. However, you might need to look in the glossary at time for there is many Spanish words in the book.