Books by Sylvie Weil

Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Troyes, France, 1096, and Crusaders are heading to Jerusalem. The Jews, including Elvina, the 12-year-old granddaughter of the famed rabbi and Talmudic scholar Solomon ben Isaac, are terrified of the soldiers and their evil leader. Unlike most females of her time, feisty Elvina is literate, adores studying, and loves writing as much for its tactile satisfaction as for the intellectual exercise. She derives strength from this as well as from her mazal (Hebrew for guardian angel), whom she addresses in times of trouble and doubt. Elvina has much to ask from and tell her guiding spirit in the course of her tale: she secretly aids a wounded young deserter, a brazen act of charity that will have dangerous but ultimately joyful consequences for her and her community. Readers don't have to be Jewish to appreciate this beautifully written story and its wonderfully realized characters and fascinating setting. Elvina, her grandfather (also known as "Rashi"), and their family members actually lived. Lovely. (afterword, glossary) (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >