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ONE FOOT ASHORE by Jacqueline Dembar Greene

ONE FOOT ASHORE

By Jacqueline Dembar Greene

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: April 4th, 1994
ISBN: 0-8027-8281-7
Publisher: Walker

 After six years of involuntary servitude in colonial Brazil, Maria Ben Lazar and her younger sister Isobel escape, stowing away aboard different ships. Greene recounted Isobel's perilous journey in Out of Many Waters (1988); here, Maria has an easier time. Undiscovered aboard ship, she walks off in Amsterdam, falls in almost immediately with a kindhearted artist named Rembrandt, and eventually finds her parents, once-wealthy Portuguese Jews who are now well-to-do burghers living under an assumed name. There's little danger or conflict here (Maria's pet rat is poisoned; a sullen housekeeper accuses her of petty theft but is quickly unmasked as the real culprit); still, readers will get a taste of bustling, cosmopolitan 17th-century Amsterdam and share Maria's joy at being reunited with her parents and, later, learning that Isobel is safe in distant New Amsterdam. A mild but pleasant historical novel, replete with just deserts and happy endings. (Fiction. 10- 13)