ZEBRA by Chaim  Potok
Kirkus Star


and Other Stories
Age Range: 11 - 15
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In six quietly powerful stories, Potok (The Sky of Now, 1995; for adults, The Gates of November, 1996; etc.) explores varieties of inner and outer healing, both in individuals and in families: “Zebra” begins to regain use of his crushed hand and leg creating art assigned by an itinerant teacher; after the deaths of her father and brother, “Isabel” finds unexpected solace in the company of her new stepsister; the spirit of “Max,” a larger-than-life family hero killed in Vietnam, resurfaces in the next generation not in his namesake, as expected, but in young Emmie; although her father returns after a brief desertion, “B.B.” loses the utter trust of her childhood; “Moon” lets out his adolescent rage in an explosive musical tribute to a murdered Pakistani child slave. In the collection’s haunting centerpiece, “Nava” uses her father’s experiences in war, and his connection with a Navajo healer, to fend off a frighteningly persistent drug dealer. The families represented are all middle class or upper-middle class, but the relationships, the feelings of loss, grief, regret, hope, and relief are universal; readers sensitive to nuances of language and situation will be totally absorbed by these profound character studies. (Short stories. 11-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-85440-1
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1998


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