A compelling, tender middle-grade story about friendship and community, grief and healing, and one indomitable girl who somehow manages to connect them all.
AVIVA VS. THE DYBBUK
by Mari Lowe
Levine Querido, February 2022
(via Context Literary)
A long ago « accident. » An isolated girl named Aviva. A community that wants to help, but doesn’t know how. And a ghostly dybbuk, that no one but Aviva can see, causing mayhem and mischief that everyone blames on her. That is the setting for this suspenseful novel of a girl who seems to have lost everything, including her best friend Kayla, and a mother who was once vibrant and popular, but who now can’t always get out of bed in the morning. As tensions escalate in the Jewish community of Beacon with incidents of vandalism and a swastika carved into new concrete poured near the synagogue, so does the tension grow between Aviva and Kayla and the girls at their school, and so do the actions of the dybbuk grow worse.
Could real harm be coming Aviva’s way? And is it somehow related to the « accident » that took her father years ago?
Mari Lowe has too little free time and spends it all on writing and escape rooms. As the daughter of a rabbi and a middle school teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school, she looks forward to sharing little glimpses into her community with her books. She lives in New York with her family, menagerie of pets, and robotic vacuum.