Aviva vs the Dybbuk

$17.99 USD

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A compelling, tender story about friendship and community, grief and healing, and one indomitable girl who somehow manages to connect them all.
A long ago “accident.” An isolated girl named Aviva. A community that wants to help, but doesn’t know how. And a ghostly dybbuk, that no one but Aviva can see, causing mayhem and mischief that everyone blames on her.  That is the setting for this suspenseful novel of a girl who seems to have lost everything, including her best friend Kayla, and a mother who was once vibrant and popular, but who now can’t always get out of bed in the morning.
As tensions escalate in the Jewish community of Beacon with incidents of vandalism and a swastika carved into new concrete poured near the synagogue…so does the tension grow between Aviva and Kayla and the girls at their school, and so do the actions of the dybbuk grow worse. Could real harm be coming Aviva’s way? And is it somehow related to the “accident” that took her father years ago?

Mari Lowe has too little free time and spends it all on writing and escape rooms. As the daughter of a rabbi and a middle school teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school, she looks forward to sharing little glimpses into her community with her books. She lives in New York with her family, menagerie of pets, and robotic vacuum. Her debut middle grade novel, Aviva vs. the Dybbuk, received critical praise and was named a Sydney Taylor Book Award winner.

 “A rare, sensitive portrayal of a contemporary Orthodox Jewish community.”
—The New York Times
“A mystery. An unreliable narrator. A supernatural creature. Such elements are woven skillfully together in this story of a Jewish girl growing up in a home above a mikvah (a religious pool) that is haunted by a dybbuk, or mischievous spirit. As we learn more about Aviva’s story, and why she and her mother feel ostracized from their community, it becomes clear that though this tale is regularly punctuated with action and fun, at its core is a serious consideration of the ways that familial grief can gnaw on a person’s psyche. Daring in its creativity.”
—Betsy Bird, NPR Best Books of the Year so Far
 “This emotionally complex novel set within a contemporary Orthodox Jewish community is full of immersive Jewish detail… Unreliable narrator though Aviva ends up being, she’s a heart-rendingly sympathetic one.”
—Horn Book (starred)
 “A deliberate and engrossing story about loss, grief and the healing power of belief. A complex and compelling middle-grade ghost story.”
—Shelf-Awareness (starred)
★ “A rare find. A heart-rending story of loss, community, friendship, and what it takes to heal and survive.”
—Kirkus (starred)

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