Summary and Review of The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler


Summary and Review of The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler

Story of Haukkah book

Book Review: “The Story of Hanukkah” by David A. Adler


“The Story of Hanukkah” by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber, is a vibrant and educational depiction of the Hanukkah story, ideal for young readers. This book is an engaging introduction to the historical and cultural significance of the Hanukkah festival. Suitable for children aged 4-8, it combines a clear and straightforward narrative with rich, colorful illustrations.

Purchase The Story of Haukkah on

Audiobook not currently available, but there are great Hanukkah alternatives on


Plot Summary

The book retells the story of the Maccabees, a small group of Jewish rebels who fought against the larger armies of King Antiochus IV. This battle was not only a physical struggle but also a fight for the right to religious freedom. The narrative highlights the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil, which burned for eight days from a single day’s supply. The story is told in a direct and active voice, making it accessible and engaging for young readers.


Central themes of the book include religious freedom, perseverance in the face of adversity, and the importance of cultural and religious traditions. The story underscores the significance of Hanukkah as a time of remembrance, celebration, and the reaffirmation of faith.

Character Descriptions

The main characters are the Maccabees, led initially by the priest Mattathias and later by his son Judah. They are portrayed as courageous and determined, symbolizing the strength and resilience of the Jewish people.


Hanukkah Menorah


Strengths of the book lie in its clear, accessible text and the vibrant acrylic illustrations that bring both solemnity and excitement to the story. The book excels in placing the Hanukkah celebration within its historical context, focusing more on the struggle for religious freedom than on the miraculous aspects often highlighted in other retellings.

Weaknesses are minimal but include a brief mention of modern-day practices like gift-giving, which could be expanded for more comprehensive cultural understanding.


“The Story of Hanukkah” is highly suitable for young readers, especially those in kindergarten to grade 2. It serves as an excellent introduction to the holiday, offering educational value alongside entertainment. Compared to other children’s books on Hanukkah, Adler’s work stands out for its historical accuracy and its ability to convey complex themes in a manner accessible to children.

Test Questions with Answers

      1. Who led the Maccabees in their fight against King Antiochus IV?
        Answer: Initially Mattathias, followed by his son Judah.
      2. What miracle is celebrated during Hanukkah?
        Answer: The miracle of the oil burning for eight days.
      3. What does the story emphasize about the Hanukkah celebration?
        Answer: The importance of religious freedom and the historical origins of the holiday.

Book Details

  • ISBN: 9780823440320
  • Page Count: 24
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2018
  • Publisher: Holiday House
  • Genre: Children’s Literature, Holiday
  • Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Awards and Accolades

While specific awards for this book were not mentioned, author David A. Adler has won numerous awards, including a Sydney Taylor Book Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor.

Series Information

This book does not appear to be part of a series.

About the Author

David A. Adler is a celebrated children’s author known for his engaging and educational stories. He has won awards like the Sydney Taylor Book Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor. Illustrator Jill Weber is known for her charming and vibrant illustrations, which have earned critical acclaim.

Affiliate Link helps to support independent book sellers. Please purchase “The Story of Hanukkah” on

Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler
Author Rating
Product Name
The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler
usd 7.43
Product Availability
Available in Stock