Juvenile Fiction Nava Semel Becoming Gershona

ISBN 13: 9780670831050

Becoming Gershona

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9780670831050: Becoming Gershona

Living in Tel-Aviv in 1958, twelve-year-old Gershona experiences first love, learns a family secret, and crosses the line between childhood and adulthood.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Hebrew

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-- Gershona, 12, is a serious, introspective youngster whose experiences have made her both wise beyond her years and, paradoxically, innocent. The story is set in Tel Aviv in 1958, two years after the Sinai War. Food rationing remains a fact of life, and the standard of living is minimal. Horrors of the Holocaust are vivid memories; dead relatives are mourned and missed daily, and radio broadcasts about missing persons help reunite families. There is, however, a sense of joy and enthusiasm as well; new immigrants flocking to Israel provide a sense of optimism and promise for the future. The plot is minimal; this is more a mood piece with an in-depth exploration of character growth and development. Gershona's grandfather, who went to America and never sent for his wife or son, is now coming to Israel to be with his family. Gershona struggles to understand the complexities of preadolescence, as well as of relationships and emotions resulting from her grandfather's reappearance. Throughout the novel, Gershona grows toward responsible adulthood; her emotional growth and maturity is acknowledged and accepted by her family. An excellent sense of time and place is conveyed. The narrative, however, is at times awkward and cumbersome. Gershona and her grandfather are well-developed, three-dimensional characters; others are either background figures or one-dimensional. The fact that pivotal questions remain unanswered interferes with plot development and resolution. Although there is some degree of universality to the theme, this book will be enjoyed most by those interested in the setting. --Susan Kaminow, Arlington County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nava Semel (Translated by: Seymour Simckes)
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