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THE IMPORTANCE OF WINGS by Robin Friedman

THE IMPORTANCE OF WINGS

By Robin Friedman

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-58089-330-5
Publisher: Charlesbridge

Roxanne (Ravit) Ben-Ari is an Israeli-American girl growing up in 1980s New York City. Family life is less than idyllic, with her mother away in Israel and her father working late into the night as a cab driver. The long afterschool hours are spent watching favorite television reruns, eating sporadically from a nearly empty refrigerator and managing to get by with homework assignments. Roxanne aches for her mother’s safe return and longs to fit in with her all-American schoolmates, the very reason she changes her Hebrew name. When Liat, a new Israeli girl, moves into the empty “cursed” house on the block, Roxanne’s attitude on life and her family circumstances is transformed. Liat’s Israeli pride brings a fresh perspective that encourages a new confidence in Roxanne, who can then identify with and appreciate her family and dual cultural lifestyle. Told in a first-person voice that is both sardonic and sincere, Friedman’s novel succeeds in bringing forth some common issues that challenge any immigrant American child who must straddle separate ways of life while striving for that true-blue American image. (Historical fiction. 10-13)