Saturday, May 26, 2007

Letters from Rifka

Author: Karen Hesse

First line: My Dear Cousin Tovah, We made it! If it had not been for your father, though, I think my family would all be dead now: Mama, Papa, Nathan, Saul, and me.

Why you should read this book: When Rifka's brothers defy the orders of the Russian army, the entire family flees to America, but illness pursues them across Europe, and Rifka is denied passage on the ship. While the rest of her family travels across the Atlantic, Rifka stays behind, healing, and writing secret letters to her cousin in the margins of a book. Based on the real-life experiences of the author's great-aunt, this immigration tale won the National Jewish Book Award.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Reading about ringworm and Cossacks makes you itchy.

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