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mrskaputnikspoolhallMrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium by Rona Arato (Review Copy provided through LibraryThing Early Reviewers)

Published by Tundra Books

Pages: 192

Ages: 8-12

Publishers Summary: Treat yourself to a visit to the wackiest restaurant ever!Ten-year-old Shoshi and her eight-year-old brother, Moshe, arrive in New York in 1898 from Russia with their mother and Snigger, the baby dragon that saved them from an attack by Cossack soldiers. Five years earlier, their father had also come to New York to make his fortune, but no one has heard from him since. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, Shoshi and Moshe use their wits to navigate through New York City’s Lower East Side, making new friends and even a few foes: Salty, the seaman who helps the family smuggle Snigger through Ellis Island; Aloysius P. Thornswaddle, carnival barker extraordinaire; Dingle Hinglehoffer, pitcher for the Brooklyn Slobbers; and the mysterious Man in the Black Cape. With the help of Snigger, they set out to solve the mystery behind their father’s disappearance, helping to free the Lower East Side from the tyrannical rule of gangster Nick the Stick along the way. Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium is a colorful tale that blends history and fantasy with a journey of discovery, adventure, and fun.


“This was a wonderful tale of two children and their fantastical friend, Snigger the dragon. Every bit of Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium was filled with history, adventure and fun. Following their journey to the ‘New World’ you see how Shoshi and Moshe handle a new place and the search for their missing father along with trying to hide a very large dragon. It was a delightful and quick read that I even learned a few new things from.

Shabbat_Challos“Most of my readers don’t know this, but for a short time after graduating high school I was a nanny for a great Jewish family in Texas. Being born and raised in a Christian home this was quite the learning experience for me. The two children I cared for were quite young, around two and five, and each night we had to recite prayers in traditional Hebrew. I was also able to witness quite a few ‘Shabbats’ that occur every week for a day of rest. It was a wonderful experience for me as someone who had never had these experiences before.

“I bring this part of my life up because much of the book revolves around the religious beliefs of the characters, which happen to be Jewish. Rona Arato did a fabulous job of blending just the right amount of information with story to provide an entertaining and educational reading experience.

“Overall, I think this was definitely a treat to read. Quick, fun, with a lot of adventure and even a little bit of history behind the true events happening during the time of the book. Readers of Middle Grade fiction and kids alike will love the tale of Moshe and Shoshi and their exciting friend Snigger the dragon.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 8 and up. Any one looking for a little history with a fantastical story should look this one up.


This book was provided by the publisher through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer Program.
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3 Responses to Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium by Rona Arato

  1. Juju says:

    Sounds delightful. That challah bread has me hungry.

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