95 pages
ISBN 1-896184-44-8
DDC jC813'.54





Brenda Baltensperger is a playwright, a director of children’s
theatre, an editor of children’s fiction, and the author of Fractured


Anya is invited by her friend Matty to a Christmas tree decorating
party, but her parents won’t let her attend because it coincides with
the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah. When she compares the exchange of
colorfully wrapped gifts and bright lights of Christmas with the more
subdued Jewish Festival of Lights, Anya is envious of her Christian
friends. Her envy is directed elsewhere when her brother, Steve,
receives a CD player from his grandparents for his Hanukkah gift.
Anya’s gift is a white metallic Hanukkah menorah, and not even a new
one at that. Greatly disappointed, Anya carries the menorah up to her
room and lights the first of the nine candles. She is immediately
transformed into a young Jewish girl, Estie, who escapes Nazi Germany
with the help of a Christian woman. With each candle that Anya lights
she progresses through a different adventure in Estie’s life. In the
process, she learns some truths about her own family and herself.

This accessible story of courage and strength of character in the face
of adversity presents an authentic and sharply realized picture of what
life was like for Jewish children in Nazi Germany. Highly recommended.


Kositsky, Lynne., “Candles,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,