GOOD-BYE TO THE TREES by Vicki Shiefman


Age Range: 9 - 12
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 Fagel Fratrizsky, 13, is sustained in her difficulties as a new immigrant by her dream of bringing the rest of her family from czarist Russia. Trained as a dressmaker, she was her mother's choice to come first--a girl of strong character and tenacious spirit whose hard work, willingness to adjust, and ability to defend her worth as a human being serve her well. Since Fagel's aunt and uncle, to whom she goes near Boston, unexpectedly turn out to be in financial difficulties, Fagel takes work as a servant, keeping her situation a secret from her mother. She insists on time off to attend classes in English, plus free time to spend with her uncle's family and even to go with her cousins to a dance hall (where she meets the young man she'll eventually marry). When her employer cheats her out of some of her savings, Fagel courageously resigns; she does save enough to bring her brother to America, but not before a sister has gone to other relatives in Argentina. The book is based on Shiefman's grandmother's experiences; it's an authentic and telling depiction of the lives of Jewish immigrants early in this century, of the love and hope of those who set out first and those who waited to join them. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-31806-5
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993