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Letters from Rifka Paperback – January 6, 2009
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Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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National Jewish Book Award
International reading Association Children's Book Award
Sydney Taylor Book Award
American Library Association Notable Book
School Library journal Best Book of the Year
Horn Book Outstanding Book of the Year, and
Booklist Editor's Choice.
However once I started reading it, I was taken with the simple and compelling story.
The book consists of a series of letters written by 12 year old Rifka to her cousin in Russia. They start when in 1919, to avoid persecution, Rifka and her parents and two older brothers have to suddenly leave Russia in the middle of the night with just a small backpack and the clothes on her back. One of these few possessions is a book of Pushkin's poetry given to her by her cousin Tovah. Their destination is the United States where two of her brothers already live.
To calm her fears and give her something to do during the lonely hours of travel, Rifka starts to write letters to Tovah in the blank spaces in the book. The story evolves through these letters which Rifka knows she will not be able to mail until she reaches the US. In the book, each letter is preceded by a quote from a Pushkin poem.
Rifka's trip is not easy. She gets separated from her family and it takes over a year before she learns if she will be reunited with them. At a time when Jewish children are normally surrounded with family celebrating their coming of age, Rifka is alone and in charge of her own destiny.
The book excels in character development, historic accuracy, and plot. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in immigration stories, Jewish history, or young women's literature.
The letter format made this a quick and easy read and very inspiring too, especially after the words from the author reveal that the story is based on the true story of what one of her relatives endured in emigrating to America. It's a great read for 9-13 year olds interested in immigration and history, and especially for girls as it portrays an independent and resourceful heroine who is able to first help her whole family escape from Russia and then travel on her own the majority of the way to the United States. Not an easily forgotten story, even for this adult reader.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved reading this book when I was younger and now my daughter does, it is a sad story.Published 5 days ago by Jennifer
Fantastic book! I wanted more letters. My children and I have been studying World History and we just finished WWI. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
this was an awesome read. After completing the book I wish the journey continued.Published 3 months ago by TYR
I liked everything about this book no reason required.
I recommend this book to my mum and grandma.
I chose this rating because I loved the book, obviously.
Didn't ring especially true to me. Thought the writing was a bit stilted. I wouldn't recommend this book.Published 4 months ago by Duffy's Friend
"Letters for Rifka" is an amazing book! Right when you think everything is going to be good, a huge problem appears! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stephen Walters
Told in a series of letters from Rifka to her cousin, this is an endearing, realistic, and ultimately, hopeful book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by empress8411