BROKEN SONG by Kathryn Lasky

BROKEN SONG

Age Range: 11 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

This companion to Night Journey (1981) explores the plight of 15-year-old Reuven Bloom, a brilliant young Russian Jewish violinist whose music is “broken” by the horrors of late-19th-century pogroms. When his shtetl is attacked by marauding Cossacks and his family—save for his toddler sister—are slaughtered, Reuven desperately flees, shouldering little Rachel in a basket, until they reach family in Poland. A bitter Reuven joins an elite revolutionary group and becomes a demolitions expert. He makes the wrenching decision to let Rachel leave for America with relatives and stays behind to continue to exact vengeance. When the moment for revenge against his own family’s murderer and thief of his expensive violin comes, though, Reuven has tired of killing and he merely wrests his beloved instrument back. By story’s end, it is the early-20th century and Reuven arrives in New York and reunites with his family. The author offers readers, in a Dear America–style epilogue, follow-up information about Reuven’s life. Lasky’s writing is straightforward and unsentimental, sometimes a little pat, and her hero is a relatable and admirable protagonist. (historical note) (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-670-05931-5
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2005




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