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Rivka's Way Paperback – October 19, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
An unusual setting 1778 Prague offsets mediocre characterizations in this debut novel. The heroine, 15-year-old Rivka, longs for a glimpse of the world beyond the Jewish ghetto, a yearning intensified when her older brother leaves to study at a yeshiva in Poland (it's not forbidden for Jews to travel outside the ghetto, provided they're wearing the requisite yellow patch, but it's unacceptable for a girl to venture out alone). Her sympathetic father, an affluent doctor, allows her to accompany him on an errand to the university. The hostility from the outside world that her friends have reported eludes her, somewhat unbelievably ("People had looked at her, but that seemed natural, as she was wearing the special patch"), and her curiosity is aroused. Risking her reputation (and imperiling her widely envied, carefully arranged engagement to Oskar Kara), Rivka dresses up in boys' clothing and sneaks out of the ghetto, not once but several times. In her wanderings she meets young Mikul, who faces imprisonment over his late mother's debts; the injustice of his plight arouses her sympathy, and she does not understand why her father, so steadfast in his efforts to help other Jews, is unwilling to aid Mikul. Within the scope of historical fiction about Jews, it's rare and refreshing to encounter a community in a state of relative peace, and Rivka's questions about God and the role of the Jews are powerful. But Rivka herself seems very much a contemporary being, only superficially affected by the culture of her time and place, and therefore neither entirely convincing nor commanding. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Life in the Prague ghetto in 1778 is far distant from the life of a 21st-century teen, but modern girls will understand the restlessness that 15-year-old Rivka Liebermann feels. The privileged daughter of a distinguished doctor, she longs to have some kind of adventure before marrying the young medical student her parents have chosen for her. Curious about the world outside the ghetto, she convinces her father to take her on one of his trips to the university. Finding none of the open hostility she has been conditioned to expect, she ventures out on her own, disguised as a boy. She even removes the yellow star that the law requires Jews to wear outside the walls. Her first solo outing includes a full day of digging potatoes (an activity that doesn't seem to leave her as exhausted and blistered as one might expect). She is befriended by a Gentile boy, Mikul, whom she meets another day in the woods, and then follows when he is arrested and thrown into debtors' prison. Appalled at the unfairness of his situation, she is determined to help him. Not surprisingly, she is found out by her parents and her community, but in a satisfyingly happy ending, her fianc sympathizes with Mikul's plight, promises to pay his debts, and assures Rivka that they will explore beyond the walls together after they are married. Although the plot strains credulity, the details of daily life are completely convincing, the foreign setting is made familiar, and Rivka's character rings true. A rewarding read for the romantically inclined. -Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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So, I would really wish to recommend this for five stars and especially for girls ages 7-12. I received this ebook for free and in return, here now is my honest review. Super job Teri!
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Available from Armon Books, reissued in 2011.
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