The Book That Will Not Open... the Hearts That Refuse to Close

The Book That Will Not Open... the Hearts That Refuse to Close

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This book was born from brainstorming with more than 75 students at two premier Jewish Day Schools in southern New Jersey. After passionate debate and discussion with each group, the author weaved their thoughts, plots and character suggestions into four stories that string together the themes of social justice, tolerance, respect and the healing powers of hope and faith. "The Book That Will Not Open" takes place in a Jewish day school where strange doings suddenly occur. Many students start to wonder whether they may be experiencing a new onslaught of the Plagues. For the source of their troubles, some point to a mysterious book that will not open. Some think Hashem may be punishing them for bringing miraculously healthy yet delicious sufganiyot into the school. One lone girl, Shadassah, thinks differently. She questions everything while learning the meaning of faith. In "The Education of Figdot Trumpledorf" we are drawn deeper into the world of education and a battle between good and brilliant, and student versus principal. While battles, even intellectual, can lead to animosity, one young student - who has a heart that refuses to close - teaches everyone what's more important than winning. "Not My Usual Shabbat" takes us on a fantastic journey with a young boy who just once would like to stay home and watch TV instead of going to Saturday morning services. In fact, he prays for such an opportunity. When his prayer gets answered, he faces an unexpected array of new questions and challenges before learning one of the most important lessons of Shabbat. In the closing story, we meet the Giltfarb family. Young Davida Giltfarb and her "super friends" live in luxury and total comfort. They seem to get everything they want, yet feel they are entitled to even more. Davida's father worries that his daughter may lose her soul before she becomes Bat Mitzvah. When Davida seems unappreciative even after her beautiful Bat Mitzvah reception, Shlomo makes a drastic move and takes Davida on a life changing journey. By the end of the story, Shlomo's daughter is singing another tune... "The Psalm of Davida." Author S F Hochman thanks the second, third and fourth grade students of Politz Day School and Kellman Brown Academy for sharing their vivid imaginations and very special souls. He believes what started in their young hearts will warm the hearts of others, young and not so young. Their stories may even give you some laughs and scares along the way.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 126 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 7.11mm | 235.87g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508697566
  • 9781508697565

About S F Hochman

After decades of writing speeches and video scripts for international motivational speakers and Fortune 500 companies, Hochman plunged into writing for kids and WITH KIDS. In the 2012-2013 school year, S F Hochman published his first children's book, laZy, craZy & amaZing. He followed up with an illustrated version (laZy, craZy & amaZing: The ZequIllustration) featuring imaginative pictures drawn by elementary school students. He awarded 15 student artists with special recognition at school assemblies. Since then, Hochman has been dreaming up dozens of stories and a couple of books a year for kids WITH KIDS. Mister Fancy Dancer was dreamed up with an unique assembly of students and educators at Whittier Family School in Camden, NJ. Together they created the unforgettable Caezaah Wiggington who overcomes his inability to communicate orally by speaking from his heart through his feet. When his day comes, Caezaah knows it and seizes it! Hochman's 2014 "Dream It Up!" project resulted in Unite We Rise!... 4 stories that build bridges between Being Unique and Belonging. Eighty fun and fertile-minded fourth graders from Larchmont Elementary School in Mt. Laurel, NJ served as his muses, plotters and character developers. In the fall of 2014 Hochman went to M.S.I.S in Suffolk County, NY to dream up 9 stories with 9 very imaginative and enthused 3rd grade classes. The book is very special, but it's also just for them (not available commercially). Hochman felt pretty gassed after that, but his imagination got rekindled by the bright eyed brainstormers from Politz Day School and Kellman Brown Academy. Together they dreamed up 4 soul searching stories that comprise The Book That Will Not Open... The Hearts That Refuse to Close. Beyond reading and writing with kids, Hochman provides a very entertaining school assembly that encourages students to tap their creativity, voice their opinions and share some brilliant insights not just about the stories, but about life. If you have suggestions, comments, even criticisms, please email Even at his age, he understands he is still a work in progress always hoping to do better next time. For more information, please visit for more information.
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