Timothy Tolliver and his friend Arnie Rosenberg have a problem -- a gang of older bullies called the Stinks. But besides being a fourth-grader, Timothy is also a world-class inventor. He and Arnie get the bright idea of defending themselves with Timothy's science-project robot.
When their first try fails, Timothy finds a way to update the mystical formulas that gave life to the Jewish clay monster, the Golem. The robot comes alive, and it looks like their worries are over -- till the robot stops following orders and takes matters into its own hands.
Can Timothy bring his creation back under control? Find out, as the Golem legend replays in a modern American elementary school.
Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Baker's Dozen," "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Monkey King," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society.
"Many children will be intrigued by a mechanical figure that comes to life." -- School Library Journal, June 2005
Arnie walked all around the robot, admiring it. "You know what this reminds me of? The Golem."
"The Golem?" said Timothy. "What's that?"
"It's from an old legend we heard in Hebrew school. A few hundred years ago, a lot of Jews in Europe were getting killed by mobs, all because of some stupid rumors started by their enemies. This one rabbi wanted to protect the Jews of his city, so he made a man of clay and brought it to life. It was so strong, nothing could stand against it. They called it the Golem."
"Kind of like Frankenstein?" said Timothy.
"Yeah, but the Golem came first, and that was probably where the idea for Frankenstein came from." Arnie grinned. "Wouldn't it be cool if this robot could protect us from the Stinks, like the Golem protected the Jews?"
Timothy grinned too. Then they both stopped grinning and looked at each other.
"You don't think . . . ." started Arnie.
"I don't know," said Timothy. "I don't see why not."