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"Weinstein employs YaYa's voice as the very believable and delightful narrator and carefully avoids didacticism as she introduces readers to some of the rituals and traditions of Judaism as they are practiced in a warm, loving family. ...Intended as the first in a series; more adventures of YaYa and YoYo will be most welcome." (Click here to read the full review.)
Kirkus Book Reviews



"A contemporary style and point of view that connect present-day pluralistic Judaism to the unbroken chain of Jewish beliefs and customs are at the story's heart. ...This first entry into the series is a good beginning."

Association of Jewish Libraries



"I feel like I just began the journey of YaYa and YoYo and am looking forward to their next adventures. I found myself smiling while I read. YaYa's voice as a Jewish fifth-grader gives many children an opportunity to see themselves in the characters of this book and feel a sense of belonging. We have waited a long time for a series like this one!"
Jane Taubenfeld Cohen
Head of School, South Area Solomon Schechter Day School
Author of We Can Make It Happen!



"YaYa and YoYo: Sliding Into the New Year is just the sort of wonderful and entertaining story I wish was around when my children were young. It is an organic and engaging way to teach both Jews and non-Jews about the transforming power of the central Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Weinstein does something so rare--she captures with such honesty and groundedness a healthy family unafraid of emotion and intimacy. 

Rabbi Irwin Kula
President, CLAL (The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership)
Author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life



"In Sliding Into the New Year, Dori Weinstein captures the attention of youngsters and their parents alike with captivating storytelling that links contemporary kids, their families, and their lives to the core of Jewish traditions and values. In this first book in the series, YaYa's and YoYo's adventures create wonderful opportunities for parents and children to engage in meaningful Jewish discussions about issues that might well have emerged from their own family experiences."
Rabbi Alvin Mars, Ph.D
Sr. Consultant to the President of the JCC Association of North America
 for Education Development



"This is one book that should be on your child's bookshelf! I have read the book three times now and notice new things with every read. Dori has a way of grabbing your attention while she masterfully carries you along into the world of YaYa and YoYo."
Dana Prottas
Lower School and Hebrew School Director
Mount Zion Temple, Saint Paul, Minnesota



"Wonderful and entertaining. I love the relationship between YaYa and YoYo. We know they love each other but there is lots of sibling teasing that keeps it grounded in reality--and funny, too. The humor of the story also allows it to avoid being too preachy, which it easily could have been.

I am really happy this book exists! There are so many 'frumie/orthodox' books, and of course zillions of secular books. But there are very few stories out there that address issues that young, affiliated Jewish kids deal with every year when the Jewish holidays roll around."   (Click here to read the full review.)

Ann D. Koffsky
Author of Noah's Swim-a-Thon



"Dori did the impossible...she actually made me long (for a few hours at least) for Rosh Hashanah to come!  As much as I am starving for a real summer day, her beautiful descriptions of the New Year made me eager to be in that place, literally and figuratively.... A sweet, thoughtful, beautiful book."

Gail Rosenblum
Columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Author of Hundred Lives Since Then: Essays on Motherhood, Marriage, Mortality and More



"In the book, Sliding Into the New Year, we gain a wonderful new author of children’s Jewish literature in Dori Weinstein. She brings a modern, human tone to a story that is both timely and engaging. Many books geared toward Jewish children focus purely on the meaning of the holidays or on telling stories with didactic preachiness. Ms. Weinstein instead creates a nuanced child, who has believable conflicts and who resolves them in believable ways. And she does so within the context of a fun and entertaining story as well.  (Click here to read the full review.)
Lydia Schultz
School Librarian, Talmud Torah of Saint Paul, Saint Paul, Minnesota 



"It is so refreshing to find a Jewish book for tweens and pre-teens that is current, relevant and relatable. Ellie, Joel and the whole Silver clan are likable and funny. Kids will learn about the holiday of Rosh Hashanah in a new and engaging way. Thank you, Dori, for bringing this series to us!"

Gila Hadani Ward
Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Beth Sholom, Roslyn Heights, New York



“Finally, a Jewish book for young readers that is well-written, engaging, lots of fun, and has important lessons to teach. I love it. And the best of all, it is the first in a series.”
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
Executive Director, Jewish Outreach Institute
Author of The Complete How To Handbook for Jewish Living



“A delightful and engaging story of growth into young adulthood and the challenges of faith. A wonderful opportunity for parents and children to explore together the meaning of the High Holy Days.”

Rabbi Steven Wernick
Executive VP, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism



YaYa & YoYo: Sliding Into the New Year is not only a pleasure to read, but also paves the way for a captivating Jewish journey for kids and pre-teens. Dori Weinstein uses humor, wisdom and warmth to address the challenges that every Jewish family faces in raising committed, knowledgeable Jews in the 21st century. I am sure that YaYa and YoYo are going to become household names in the vital enterprise of strengthening Jewish identity and commitment. My kids and I can’t wait to hear about their next adventures!”

Rabbi Charles Savenor
Executive Director, Metropolitan New York District
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism



“As Adam Sandler’s Chanukah songs prove, we like to know that we’re not alone, even though we’re members of a minority religion. In YaYa & YoYo, Jewish children will find fictional characters who inhabit the same world, use the same words, and face the same woes as they do. Dori Weinstein’s first book is a testament to her love of Judaism, family, and teaching!”
Sari Steinberg
Author of …And Then There Were Dinosaurs
and King Solomon Figures It Out



“Finally, a book that is ‘teachy’ without being preachy. Dori Weinstein knows and respects her audience. By writing enjoyable, credible and intelligent fiction, she shows that learning and fun are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the subject of this book is one that parents and children can have a substantive discussion about together."
Rabbi Hayim Herring, Ph.D
Executive Director, STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal)
President and CEO, Herring Consulting Network



“‘Finding who I am’ is every young person’s struggle, and adding Jewish identity to the mix makes the challenge all the more difficult. Dori Weinstein takes readers on this journey in a delightful way with a conclusion that is hard to predict. The interplay between the characters is realistic and entertaining. A great read for kids and pre-teens!”
Gil Mann
Author of How to Get More Out of Being Jewish Even if... A. You are not sure you
believe in God, B. You think going to synagogue is a waste of time, C. You think
keeping kosher is stupid, D. You hated Hebrew school, or E All of the above!



"Finally... a wonderful read for parents and children alike!  Amazing, funny, touching and wonderful!

Throughout the book, my 9-year old son kept saying, 'Mom, that's just like our family,' or 'Hey, that's just what we do!' This was the first time either of us has read anything at that reading level that we could relate to as a Jewish family. I could tell how proud he felt while we were reading it. And, it sparked a great conversation about the meaning of Rosh Hashanah. I am sure he will read this again as the High Holidays approach.

I think I've been waiting for this series all my life!  Parents...if you're not reading this WITH your kids, do yourself a favor and read it on your own! You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy this beautiful story. We can't wait for the next one!"

Amazon.com Customer Review








Cheers for YaYa & YoYo!
Sliding Into the New Year
Shaking in the Shack
"Embedded within this fun and entertaining book are important messages that kids and adults will appreciate. The main characters, YaYa and YoYo, become aware of the problems of hunger and homelessness around them through their dealings with a lost dog as well as seeing a hungry family on the street. The Silver kids' empathy grows as does their desire to do something to help. Within this charming story Weinstein weaves in the Jewish teachings of helping the poor, extending hospitality and even caring for animals. This all takes place during Sukkot, the holiday in which we dwell in our own temporary, flimsy shelters and experience what it is like to live with barely a roof over our own heads.

Kudos to Weinstein for writing a book that will inspire, teach, and help kids react to the realities in the world around them."
Rabbi Harold Kravitz
Senior Rabbi, Adath Jeshurun Congregation, Minnetonka, Minnesota
and Board Chair of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger

"This is a lighthearted romp for middle readers with some substantial messages subtly worked into the fun. Recommended for ages 8-12."

Jewish Book Council

"Presented seamlessly within the story, Weinstein includes lots of information about the customs of Sukkot. Practical joker Joel and more serious Ellie are believable, likeable characters. Fans of Sliding into the New Year and readers just making the acquaintance of the Silver family will enjoy this peek into one family's unusual Sukkot. Highly Recommended."
Association of Jewish Libraries

"Shaking in the Shack brings us another fun romp with YaYa and YoYo and the Silver family! Dori Weinstein portrays the holiday of Sukkot as a joyful celebration of family, friends and caring for others. The relatable and likable characters demonstrate healthy, positive relationships among friends, siblings, and between adults and
children. The threads from the first book are a nice link, and book two also stands well on its own. Packed with positive messages, Shaking in the Shack is a great addition to Jewish middle-grade literature."
Amy Ariel
Jewish educator and Author of Friends Forever


"In this enjoyable second volume in the YaYa & YoYo children's book series, Dori Weinstein does a beautiful job of teaching Jewish values, from respecting nature and animals, to caring for each other. Readers will enjoy the playful banter and antics of the close-knit and fun-loving Silver family, and will learn more about Judaism's rich history as we gather under the Sukkah together."
Gail Rosenblum
Columnist, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Author of A Hundred Lives Since Then: Essays on Motherhood, Marriage, Mortality and More


"Shaking in the Shack is an engaging story for young readers. It is really exciting to have characters in a series that our Jewish young readers can identify with and learn from!"
Judy Miller, M.S.
Head of School, Columbus Jewish Day School
Columbus, Ohio


“More adventure. More learning. More fun. So glad to see Yaya and YoYo returning. Another young adult hit by Dori Weinstein. I cant wait to see what the kids will be doing for Hanukkah!”
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
Executive Director, Jewish Outreach Institute
Author of The Discovery Haggadah


"Shaking in the Shack is another winner from Dori Weinstein! Like her first book, the story unfolds so naturally, you don't realize how much you're absorbing about Jewish culture and practice. Dori perfectly captures the tween voice with YaYa and YoYo. My son laughed out loud with Joel and rolled his eyes at Jeremy -- just like with his real brothers. And hearing him ask to read their next adventure is music to my ears! Thank you, Dori Weinstein."
Beth Grafman
Program Director, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Former Librarian, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester
White Plains, New York