Levine's first book is based on his own grandfather's journey, in 1914, from a shtetl near Minsk to Palestine. The letter with money from older brother David arrives just before Hanukkah; with persecution on the rise, Moses and little Benjamin set out quickly--first in a kindly peasant's wagon, hiding under the potatoes, then by train to Warsaw. It's a dangerous journey, with soldiers as much a threat as thieves, but the boys manage to celebrate Hanukkah along the way, using their grandmother's little brass lamp, their mother's last gift to them. When an avaricious captain demands all their money for just one ticket, they persuade him to accept the lamp in payment for a second ticket so that they can continue their journey to David. Levine's straightforward narrative is clear, but it's the events, not the writing, that give it power. Ransome's full-page oils in wintry tones are bold and stark; their somber tone is appropriate, but a bit more vitality and sensitivity in the portrayal of the boys would have made their experience more immediate to young readers.