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The Ninth Day Paperback – November 15, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ruth Tenzer Feldman is the author of numerous nonfiction books for children and young adults, including The Fall of Constantinople, How Congress Works, and Don’t Whistle in School: The History of America’s Public Schools. She holds degrees in both law and international relations, and has spent time working as a legislative attorney for the U.S. Department of Education. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a member of the League of Women Voters, the Oregon Historical Society, and the Institute for Judaic Studies. Her first novel, Blue Thread, was published in 2012 and is a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in Young Adult Literature.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ooligan Press (November 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932010653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932010657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,980,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

The Ninth Day retains several of the elements that made Blue Thread so original and successful—Jewish protagonists, themes, and history that are deftly incorporated into the plot, an entirely new way to time travel, and well-written and researched historical settings - while still managing to be an entirely different beast of a story. The book jumps forward in time approximately 40 years and takes place in Berkeley right in the middle of the free speech protests that occurred on the University of Berkeley’s campus in the mid-sixties.

The protagonist, Hope Miriam Friis is the granddaughter of Blue Thread's Miriam Josefson. Hope is shy and reserved due to her pronounced stutter. The book opens several weeks after an unplanned LSD experience resulting in a bad trip that led to her face getting cut open. When Serakh shows up, requesting that Hope use her grandmother’s prayer shawl to travel back to 11th century France to save a newborn child from being killed by his father due to what he believes is a prophetic vision. Along with all this, Hope has to take care of her ailing grandfather and navigate the political tensions arising from the free speech riots happening practically next door. In working her way through her insecurities, Hope is able to find strength she didn’t think she had and is able to raise and use her voice like she never has before.

I loved Hope’s story even more than I loved Miriam’s, and I really appreciated that, given all the recurring elements in The Ninth Day, Ruth Tenzer Feldmen did not make Hope a carbon copy of Miriam.
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Ruth Tenzer Feldman has mastered the art of connecting different time periods. In Blue Thread, Ruth intertwines events from Oregon’s women’s suffrage movement with the daughters of Zelophehad’s struggle for women’s rights during biblical times. In her companion book, The Ninth Day, the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s is connected with 11th century Paris. In both books, the main characters (Miriam Josefsohn in Blue Thread and Hope Friis in The Ninth Day) are able to move back and forth through time by using a magical prayer shawl. The books are designed to be read independently. I read Blue Thread first so I had no problem understanding The Ninth Day.

The prayer shawl has a unique blue thread that originated from the biblical Tribe of Levi. The thread has a special power that can carry a messenger across the olam (the universe). Since Miryam the biblical prophetess, did not have any children, she passed a thread onto Tirzah’s daughter, Miryam. Miriam Josefsohn traveled back to that point in time. Another thread miraculously survived until the Middle Ages and was embroidered into a prayer shawl by Rashi’s daughter.

The main characters, Miriam and Hope are descendants of Miryam. Hope is Miriam’s granddaughter. In The Ninth Day, Miriam is already deceased. Miriam and Hope’s understanding of the prayer shawl’s powers is transmitted through a mystical character named Serakh. She can travel through time without the shawl. This mysterious woman elicits Miriam and Hope’s inspiration to help women in the earlier time periods.

These strong, modern, female characters are more than capable of handling their out of the comfort zone experiences as they travel across the olam.
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By T. Mulvihill on April 17, 2014
Picking up this type of book was something of an anomaly for me. A young adult, Jewish, time traveling story? But I trusted the person who recommended it, so I went in with an open mind. I'm glad I did.

Feldman's character Hope is dynamic and her inner struggles draw in the reader. Her stuttering nearly traps her in her own world. I was transfixed by her quiet strength through her speech impediment, as well as the traumatic events that took place before the first pages. Her relationships with the various secondary characters are colorful and believable.

My only criticism is probably a result of having not read The Blue Thread, this book's companion, which judging by the summary takes place a good deal before this story. I'm assuming the mechanics of the time traveling element and Hope's mysterious ancestor are established in the the companion. While I was able to understand the fanciful parts of The Ninth Day without trouble, it kind of seemed like the author expected that her readers were already familiar with how her time traveling worked from the last book; the explanation seemed a little perfunctory.

All in all, it was a well-rounded story with believable characters and an excellent world. I would happily recommend it.
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The Ninth Day is the second book in the author's series about a blue thread on a prayer shawl that transports the owner far back in time to help resolve an issue while at the same time dealing with their personal present day struggles. It's not necessary to read the first book, but there are characters that appear in both books and references to The Blue Thread (the first book).

The Ninth Day was great, even better than the first story in the series. It sets a good pace and keeps the reader guessing as to what happened to Hope before the story began. I learned more about the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley and the Jewish religion.

It's an interesting fantasy, historical fiction that is marketed for young adults, but is really for any age. I'm excited for the next book in this series.
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