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Hand of Miriam, The

Publisher: Independently Published
Year of Publication: 2023
Book type: Novel
Age: YA (12-18)
Genre: Contemporary
Sub Genre: Coming of Age
Language: English
POV: First-person
Tense: Past
Key Phrases: Amulets · Biblical · Blessings · Brooklyn · bully · bullying · Empowering · Evil Eye · Generations · Girl Power. · Hamsa · heroine · Intergenerational · jewish · Jewish girl · Jewish heroine · Jewish Mysticism · Jewish Shero · Jewish superstition · Judaism · Shero · Shero teen · Shero tween · superstition · Superstitions · teen · Teen heroine · Torah · Tradition · Tradtions · Tween · Tween heroine · Yiddish
A mysterious elderly woman persuades a young girl that they are both descendants of the biblical Miriam, capable of protecting others from the Evil Eye. But will the ancient amulets and blessings they rely on be enough when real Evil turns its eye their way?

EVIL is the furthest thing from 12-year-old Miriam Saperstein’s mind. There’s a new stepfather, a baby brother, and now a move from her tiny Long Island town to Brooklyn to live with a great-grandmother she barely knows. But with her mother busy looking after a newborn and a 91-year-old, Miriam finds herself in an unfamiliar place, left to her own devices to find something – or someone – to entertain her.

When she meets the elderly woman known in the neighborhood as “The Iceberg,” the stranger makes an astonishing claim: that they both are part of an ancient line of Jewish women – extending back to the biblical Miriam – capable of protecting others from the Evil Eye.

First skeptical, then intrigued, Miriam is eager to learn about the amulets and Hebrew blessings that The Iceberg declares can ward off misfortune caused by the Evil Eye. Though her great-grandmother proudly confirms their family history, Miriam’s mother forbids her from pursuing what she considers superstitious nonsense from an unhinged old lady. But Miriam believes that The Iceberg’s lessons will help her defend herself and her friends against an ominous threat…one that could be even more deadly than anyone suspects.

Are Miriam and The Iceberg deluding themselves, or are they actually part of something mysterious, powerful…and as old as the Torah itself? And will the ancient methods they rely on be enough when real Evil turns its eye their way?

The Hand of Miriam is a wholly original coming-of-age story that weaves together Jewish tradition, the hidden inner strength of girls and women, and the struggles of finding one’s place in the world.

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