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In this informative graphic novel for children ages 8 to 13, author and illustrator Martin Lemelman shares his love for science, art, and archaeology as he relates the fascinating tale of ordinary Judean date palm seeds that lay dormant for more than 2,000 years. Whether due to climate change or war, the last date palm trees became extinct in Israel about 1,000 years ago.  

In the early 1960s, when a team of archaeologists excavated the fortress of Masada in Israel, they discovered a jar containing 2,000-year-old Judean date palm seeds. Additional ancient date palm seeds were found at other archaeological excavation sites. In 2004, scientists Dr. Sarah Sallon and Dr. Elaine Solowey joined forces to nurture some of those seeds to germination. After overcoming many obstacles and working on the project for 15 years, the first dates–one hundred and eleven!–were harvested in August 2020 from a date palm tree the scientists had dubbed Hannah. Miraculously, the Judean date palm tree is no longer considered extinct today. 

The Miracle Seed, written from a Jewish cultural perspective, points to our wonder-working God who created the world for his glory and for our caretaking and enjoyment of it. (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)

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