30 November 2007
This book is based on the real life friendship of the author, Michael Rosen and Elijah Pierce. The story takes place when Rosen was nine years old, and Elijah was “more than eighty years old.” Elijah was the local barber who also carved works of art. As a young child, Rosen would visit Elijah on his way home from Hebrew school to watch Elijah create his works of art. But as Elijah was Christian and Rosen a Jew, there was very little Michael could do but to admire Elijah’s art. Until one year when the first day of Chanukah and Christmas fell on the same day. Elijah gives Rosen a carving of an angel. At first Rosen is stunned because he had admired the angels Elijah was carving, and was astounded with the magnitude of the gift. But Rosen was also afraid he was committing an offense against his Jewish religion because he now owned a “graven image.”
This is a fabulous story about how friendship can cross age, race, and religion lines.