From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7. Historical facts are presented with a heavy hand throughout this story about Moishe and his family. The disparate reactions of Jews to what is happening in Germany in 1939 is clearly represented by the boy's mother's assurance that these "hooligans" (the Nazis) will soon go away, his father's caution in relocating the family to a farm, and their neighbors' exodus from the country. Characters are two-dimensional, except for Moishe, who is only slightly more fleshed out. His older sister is angelic even to the point of her understanding response to her family's betrayal by the German handyman who is responsible for their removal to a concentration camp. Moishe is the only family member to survive; he is rescued and winds up in a Catholic orphanage in the United States after denying that he is Jewish. Conveniently, the story ends with him finding his Jewish identity once again as he wanders into a synagogue and is miraculously taken in and ultimately adopted by the rabbi and his family. This book is far too contrived and peopled with representational characters to compete with the many fine Holocaust stories such as Ida Vos's Hide and Seek (1991), Anna Is Still Here (1993), and Dancing on the Bridge of Avignon (1995, all Houghton), and Renee Roth-Hano's autobiographical Touch Wood (Puffin, 1989).?Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
Growing up in Munich in the 1930's, young Moishe loves to hear his sister, Rachel, read him his favorite story: a fairy tale about an evil mirror broken and scattered by Satan. He wonders whether shards of that mirror, which have the power to turn people's hearts to ice, still exist. A few years later, when the Nazis imprison his family in a concentration camp, he knows that they do.
By the end of the war, Moishe is the only one of his family still alive, and he no longer wants to be Jewish. He tells the AMerican liberators he is a Gypsy named Danny and i sent to a Catholic orphanage. WHen his best friend at the orphanage is adopted, Moishe is unable to bear yet another loss in his short life. He runs away. Yet when all seems utterly hopeless, he learns that the light of Sabbath candles is warm enough to melt the ice that has formed in his own heart.
In this moving story of a young boy's flight from his past, legendary actor and acclaimed author Kirk Douglas reminds us that sometimes we must embrace our most painful memories to uncover a brighter future. He tells a timeless tale of loss of faith and its recovery.