The Trouble with Good Ideas (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Magical realism rooted in Yiddish mythology with an eye to contemporary antisemitism. Twelve-year-old Leah's Zaide (grandfather) is showing signs of Alzheimer's, and her parents are thinking of sending him to an assisted-living facility. Leah can't imagine Zaide being trapped in "hospital jail" instead of living right down the street from her, so she makes a golem - a human figure made of clay, who must do her bidding - to take care of Zaide. What she doesn't account for is that a golem always turns against its creator. Absolutely fantastic. — Nadja Tiktinsky


From author Amanda Panitch comes The Trouble with Good Ideas, a hilarious middle-grade novel with a magical twist about a girl, a golem, and her ailing grandfather, perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish.

Twelve-year old Leah Nevins is NOT a fan of change.

So when her parents start whispering about sending her beloved Jewish great-grandpa Zaide to an assisted living facility (hospital jail!), she is very resistant. Zaide’s house, where her family gathers on Saturday afternoons, is the only place where Leah feels like she truly belongs. Sending Zaide away would change everything.

Luckily, Leah remembers a story Zaide once told her about building a golem—a creature from Jewish mythology made out of clay—to protect their family from the Nazis in Poland. So, of course, Leah decides to make a golem of her own to look after Zaide. The directions he gave her were pretty easy to follow, but there is one thing he never told her: what to do when a golem turns against its creator.

About the Author

Amanda Panitch grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. She now resides in New York City, where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. Her books for young adults include Damage Done and Never Missing, Never Found. The Trouble with Good Ideas is her first book for middle grade readers.

Praise For…

"A representation of a modern Jewish family with a folkloric twist."—Kirkus Reviews

Panitch’s twisted fairy tale, by turns heartwarming, bittersweet, and creepy, explores Leah’s Jewish identity through her realistic, 12-year-old perspective."—Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250245106
ISBN-10: 1250245109
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English
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