THE PLACE WHERE NOBODY STOPPED by Jerry Segal

THE PLACE WHERE NOBODY STOPPED

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Age Range: 8 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Told in the rich, well-honed style of a practiced storyteller, a sturdy yarn about a Jewish family taking refuge with a Christian baker in a backwater Russian village while they await passports to America, for which they've paid a cousin their life savings. Segal never says that the lazy, scholarly Mordecai and his hard-working wife Ginzl are Jewish, nor does he address anti- Semitism directly. Rather, the entire population is persecuted by the czar's search for unwilling army recruits. The soldiers' annual visits are comically depicted--even to the brutality with which they repeatedly bludgeon Yosip, who persists in hiding Mordecai and his family. Meanwhile, Ginzl bears ten more children; Mordecai (despite his monumental uselessness when it comes to anything practical) becomes a local favorite with his storytelling; lonely Yosip takes on the entire family as his own; the mendacious cousin finally turns up, but without the promised passports; the eldest daughter falls in love with a local boy; and Mordecai, reaching age 45, is at last safe from the draft. A wonderful story--abundant with warmth, generosity, and the poignant humor that flourishes where people have learned that laughter can temper sorrow and injustice. Colorful characters, delightful dialogue, and lively action following a repetitive folkloric design should make this a readaloud winner. (Illustrations not seen.) (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-531-05897-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991




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