In a Latke Trouble

Book 4 in the YaYa & YoYo series (For ages 8 and up)

Fifth-grader Joel (YoYo) Silver loves playing practical jokes and making people laugh. Just when he decides to stop pranking people and focus instead on wowing a crowd with magic and juggling, his school buddies start a “challenge” club, daring each other to take part in contests and pranks. When the dares start to fall outside of Joel’s comfort zone, he has to decide if he should take the risk or stand up to the pressure that his friends are putting on him. Meanwhile, it’s almost Hanukkah. Joel and his twin sister Ellie (YaYa) are learning about the Maccabees, the ancient Jews who refused to give up their way of life despite enormous pressure from the Greeks. Joel is discovering that peer pressure and making good (and not-so-good) decisions can be almost as tough as being a Maccabee!

In a Latke Trouble, the fourth installment in the popular YaYa & YoYo book series by award-winning author Dori Weinstein, is a perfect gift for readers of all backgrounds.  In a Latke Trouble focuses on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, while shining a light on universal themes: the value of personal bravery and the dangers of group conformity. Twins Ellie and Joel Silver, also known as YaYa and YoYo, are fifth-graders who, along with their friends learn to make good choices, deal with peer pressure, and rededicate themselves toward making this world a better place. Written with humor and warmth, In a Latke Trouble will entertain, teach, and inspire young readers and enhance their holiday experience.

Praise for In a Latke Trouble
(YaYa & YoYo, Book 4)

In a Latke Trou­ble is the fourth install­ment in Dori Wein­stein’s series about the Sil­ver fam­i­ly and the charm­ing, fun, cre­ative way they cel­e­brate Jew­ish hol­i­days and tra­di­tions. This time, the Sil­ver twins, nick­named YoYo and YaYa based on their Hebrew names of Yoel and Yael, glee­ful­ly antic­i­pate Hanukkah. They have formed a club with their school­mates in which they dare one anoth­er to com­plete a series of chal­lenges. A cre­ative les­son by a mar­velous edu­ca­tor who is their ​“shul school” rab­bi, some wise deci­sions by their par­ents, and a whole­some, sin­cere atti­tude shown by the chil­dren them­selves help them under­stand that there are many lessons in the pop­u­lar hol­i­day that are not appar­ent at first glance. Ulti­mate­ly, YoYo and YaYa learn that chal­lenges can be broad­er than the ones they had antic­i­pat­ed and can include help­ing oth­ers and deep­en­ing their under­stand­ing of their places in the world.
The sto­ry is packed with well-researched infor­ma­tion about Hanukkah but focus­es most intense­ly on the broad­er lessons inher­ent in its cel­e­bra­tion includ­ing kind­ness, thought­ful­ness, respect, and reded­i­ca­tion to goals, all inspired by what the chil­dren have learned about the Mac­cabees. Humor abounds, inter­twin­ing with the deep­er lessons learned and result­ing in a book that is thor­ough­ly enter­tain­ing but also pro­vides more than the stan­dard Hanukkah fare. Mid­dle grade read­ers will have fun and will also walk away with a renewed appre­ci­a­tion for the holiday.”

Michal Hoschan­der Malen
Jewish Book Council


In a Latke Trouble is charming, sweet, funny, and has a great message without being didactic. Weinstein has such a sure hand for storytelling, a good grasp of the age group, and I love all the humor. YaYa and YoYo are fallible yet have good hearts (such good hearts). YaYa and YoYo are totally real to me, and it’s always a pleasure to spend time in their world. Dori Weinstein has done it again. I love this book!”  

Jennifer Wilson
Author of Someday We’ll Find It 

“This multicultural Hebrew School mash-up invites readers on a journey from the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the world of a fifth-grade friend group, with surprising connections and lessons to be learned. In a Latke Trouble shines a light on essential Hanukkah themes: the dangers of group conformity and the value of personal bravery. Friends learn to deal with peer pressure, make good choices, and rededicate themselves toward making this world a better place. Dori Weinstein’s fourth installment of YaYa & YoYo will brighten readers’ minds and inspire their souls!” 

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Scholar in Residence, UJA-Federation of New York
Author of A Rabbi’s Heart

“YaYa and YoYo are back with a whole new set of adventures and hijinx, this time leading up to the holiday of Hanukkah. With a wider cast that is representative of contemporary schools, Weinstein once again proves that she has her ear to the ground when it comes to kids, deftly weaving in values and morals without tipping her hand and bogging down the story. A highly recommended fun read for kids and parents alike, with plenty to laugh about, think about, and discuss!” 

Natalie Blitt
Author of The Truth About Leaving; The Distance From A to Z;
Carols and Crushes; and Snow One Like You

“In a Latke Trouble is a true gem! I feel like I know YaYa and YoYo personally. They are witty, courageous, and always strive to be the best versions of themselves. I love how Weinstein showcases the beauty and nuance found in contemporary Jewish life. She simultaneously tells a compelling story while also conveying the deeper meaning of Hanukkah. Readers will delight in this charming holiday tale!”

Elana Rubinstein
Author of the Saralee Siegel series

“Dori Weinstein does it yet again. I’ve long searched for age-appropriate, engaging, Jewish chapter books for my own children. The YaYa and YoYo series is the only one that seems to “age up” with the children. This new volume especially provides just enough intrigue and insight to keep the young reader not only engaged but wanting more. And it’s a perfect Hanukkah gift to boot!” 

Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky
Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Contributor, Text Messages: A Torah Commentary for Teens