Age Range: 10 - 14
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It’s 1908, and 13-year-old Raizel and her father have been living in New York for three years after finally being accepted at Ellis Island (their refusal and subsequent admission were chronicled in 2005’s Double Crossing); now the rest of the family has arrived from the Ukraine. Little Shloyme adapts with ease, but Raizel’s mother is horrified at how far her husband and daughter have slipped in their observance of their faith and customs, and 12-year-old Lemmel downright hates everything about his new life: School and his bar mitzvah lessons are just about impossible, because, try as he might, he can’t read. The narrative follows the two older children, in alternating first-person narrations, as Raizel struggles to convince her mother that, in America, education isn’t wasted on a girl and as Lemmel resists and then runs away to scrape by on the streets rather than shame his family. This sequel lacks the startling originality of structure and content that marked its predecessor, but readers will nevertheless find both characters and their situation sympathetic and will root for them to pull through. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-933693-59-0
Page count: 248pp
Publisher: Cinco Puntos
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009