All-Star Klezmer Band
Green Bean Books, November 2020
Age Range: 8-13 Years
PJ Our Way Selection
Selected by the Association of Jewish Libraries on its list of 100 Jewish Children’s Books for the Family Bookshelf, a collection of “100 classic and soon-to-be classic picture and middle grade books recommended for the bookshelves of Jewish children.”
Benny Feldman spends his days at Sieberling School obeying his number-one rule for surviving sixth grade: Blend into the background. So when he signs up his klezmer band to play in the school talent show, his more popular classmates are shocked. Teased by guitar superstar and former friend Jason Conroy, Benny vows to capture the first-place trophy and erase an embarrassing nickname that has haunted him since his performance in an unforgettably disastrous first-grade Sabbath play. But there is a problem. Benny Feldman's All-Star Klezmer Band is only a figment of Benny's imagination.
With the show a few months away, Benny, an accomplished fiddler, embarks on a quest to assemble a band that will beat Jason's rock group at the talent show. By the end, Benny has learned a great deal about the joys and sorrows that lie at the heart of klezmer. He has also experienced his first kiss, solved a mystery about who is trying to get him kicked out of the show, struggled with severe stage fright, and discovered that being different can be wonderful. The climax will have readers wondering until the end if Benny can pull off a miracle.
“The young reader will surely enjoy this musical romp through sixth grade."
- Association of Jewish Libraries
"This book has 'everything' in it! Everything wonderful!...It's about the love of music and how 'All music is connected... and how music connects us all.'... This book is magic!"
- The Sydney Taylor Shmooze
“Benny Feldman’s All-Star Klezmer Band is intelligent, heartwarming and funny; it subtly introduces the reader not only to klezmer but also to the Jewish contribution to music, from Yip Harburg to Pink."
- The Jewish Chronicle