Helaine Becker

Date Published :
March 2021
Publisher :
Green Bean Books
Illustration :
8 pages of illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781784385750
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock


12-year-old Dany lives with his father, the scholarly Rob Judah, and his silent mother Rachel in the Stoon ghetto on the outskirts of Gottika. Under the ruthless Count Pol, the Stoon community are subject to military raids, prejudicial laws and restrictions on their culture and freedom. When Pol marries Dany’s cousin Dalil, stoking further tension between Gottikans and Stoons, life gets harder still. Urged on by Dany, Rob Judah finally runs out of patience. Something must be done.

One night, Rob Judah breaks curfew and goes down to the river. Dany follows and secretly watches as his father invokes illegal Stoon magic to raise a creature, in human form, from the mud. The Gol comes to live with the family and becomes the invincible protector of the Stoons. He foils plots, prevents violence against them, and starts to bring hope and happiness back to Dany’s family. But then Rob Judah is framed for a brutal murder and thrown in Pol’s dungeon. Now it is Dany’s time to act.

With the help of Moishe, Dalil and a wolf-dog hybrid named Khan, Dany sets out to save his father and defeat Pol once and for all. Along the way, he uncovers shocking family secrets, learns where Pol’s vicious hatred of the Stoons comes from and is gifted with an understanding of the sacred mysteries of life itself.

Compelling, clever and full of twists and turns, Gottika reimagines the powerful Golem legend as a futuristic fantasy with a universal message.

About The Author

Helaine Becker is the bestselling author of more than 90 books for children and young adults, including the #1 Canadian national bestseller A Porcupine in a Pine Tree (Scholastic Canada) and the international bestseller Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 (Henry Holt). Her books have won multiple awards and been translated into ten languages. A New York native, Helaine has lived in Toronto, Canada for more than 20 years.


“Iconic elements of Jewish persecution give this story a historical grounding as well as a depth. The cues open up a space for conversation about travesties that have taken place while also encouraging readers to immerse themselves in a space of injustice and to read a story of the disenfranchised.”

- Jeunesse

“Lovers of fantasy, myths and legends, action comics, a hero’s quest, and even Dungeons and Dragons fans will want to keep reading late into the night. And this story will continue to resonate the morning after.”

- National Reading Campaign

“Gol’s strength, and his story are the real soul of this novel, and I was fascinated watching this traditional Jewish folk story come to life.” ****/4 stars

- Mabel’s Fables Raves and Faves

“An excellent addition to a high school reader’s collection.”

- Jewish Book Council

“Gottika is the perfect mashup that results in a great read; one that kept me awake until I turned the last page.”

- Sheryl McFarlane

“A compelling read. Recommended.”

- CM Magazine

“Becker presents the harsh treatment of an ethnic group in a way children will be able to understand and question.”

- Quill and Quire

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