Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva by Jacqueline Jules; Illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg. 2017. Published by Kar-Ben.
Brief summary: Akiva, a poor shepherd, takes care of a wealthy man’s sheep. Rachel, the daughter of the wealthy man, notices how kind Akiva is to the sheep. Although Akiva cannot read or write, Rachel sees that he is smart. The two marry without the blessing of Rachel’s father. After many years, Rachel lovingly encourages her husband to learn how to read and write. Akiva protests that at forty, it is too late to learn. She does not share his doubt. He decides to try by sitting with the children in a classroom and begins to learn to read a little at a time just like the drops of water he notices making a hole through the stone he saw next to the stream. His wife, once again, encourages her husband to further his education by going to study the Torah where he excels and becomes famous for his wisdom. Meanwhile, Rachel, works hard to keep a home for them upon his return.
Comment: What a wonderful story to teach perseverance, growth mindset, and sacrifice to reach a goal that may seem unattainable. This book is based on Rabbi Akiva, a great sage of the first century.
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