Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall And Matzo Ball Emporium by Rona AratoMrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall And Matzo Ball Emporium by Rona Arato

Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall And Matzo Ball Emporium

byRona Arato

Paperback | April 13, 2010

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Treat yourself to a visit to the wackiest restaurant ever!Ten-year-old Shoshi and her eight-year-old brother, Moshe, arrive in New York in 1898 from Russia with their mother and Snigger, the baby dragon that saved them from an attack by Cossack soldiers. Five years earlier, their father had also come to New York to make his fortune, but no one has heard from him since. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, Shoshi and Moshe use their wits to navigate through New York City's Lower East Side, making new friends and even a few foes: Salty, the seaman who helps the family smuggle Snigger through Ellis Island; Aloysius P. Thornswaddle, carnival barker extraordinaire; Dingle Hinglehoffer, pitcher for the Brooklyn Slobbers; and the mysterious Man in the Black Cape. With the help of Snigger, they set out to solve the mystery behind their father's disappearance, helping to free the Lower East Side from the tyrannical rule of gangster Nick the Stick along the way. Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium is a colorful tale that blends history and fantasy with a journey of discovery, adventure, and fun.
RONA ARATO was born in New York and grew up in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. She taught elementary school in Los Angeles and Toronto, adult creative writing for the Toronto District School Board, and has conducted business writing workshops for profit and nonprofit organ...
Title:Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall And Matzo Ball EmporiumFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 7.71 × 5.35 × 0.42 inPublished:April 13, 2010Publisher:TundraLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887769675

ISBN - 13:9780887769672

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Immigrants, Gangsters & a Dragon Reason for Reading: The combination of the time period (1898) and a dragon intrigued me. I read this aloud to my 9yo. The Kapustins have immigrated to the USA because Papa has been gone for five years and has not answered any of their letters. Escaping the Cossacks and worried they arrive on Ellis Island, find the family restaurant and are told Papa left one day and didn't come back. The aunt and uncle running the place have turned it into a shambles. On their first night there, aunt and uncle steal their money leaving a note that they have taken it as payment for the restaurant, Mama can have it, they are going south. Mama must figure out a way to make a living off the restaurant but her matzo balls won't cook properly; they are more like stones. The children are trying to find Papa. The gangster Nick the Stick is making them pay protection money and they are never quite sure if their new friend Mr. Thornswaddle, circus barker extraordinaire, can be trusted. Oh, yes, and by the way they also accidentally brought a baby dragon over with them who doesn't make the situation any easier. A fun, story with lots of silly situations going on that are unrealistic. The Russian Jew immigrants bring with them a folk tale sense of the tall tale and much that happens in the story is over the top, creating some laugh out loud moments and just plain silliness. But also, the author manages to set the characters in the real world of a turn of the century Jewish neighbourhood in New York and the reader sees the immigrant experience as well as life for a child in this era of New York. The names of the characters are a lot of fun too, such as Aloysius P. Thornswaddle and Dingle Hinglehoffer and the book works well as a read aloud allowing the teller to put on both Jewish and Irish accents during some of the most fun bits. The one thing that disappointed me was the dragon; he had no charisma. While not being a main character, he was a constant throughout the plot and he did not have a personality of his own. He was very lightly sketched out but there was nothing to endear him to the reading audience. I think if he'd been given a personality his place would have felt more as one of the main characters and it would have given the story that extra bit of oomph that feels to be lacking.
Date published: 2010-05-22