Set in 1654, against the backdrop of the Portuguese Inquisition, this historical novel tells the story of 12-year-old Isobel. Escaping from the monastery where she and her sister have been held, she stows away on a ship in hopes of finding her parents again. Braving loneliness, storms and privateers, Isobel is befriended by a group of passengers and becomes one of the first Jewish immigrants to settle in New Amsterdam.
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Jacqueline Dembar Greene is the award-winning author of some 20 books and short stories for young readers. She has written picture books, historical novels, and non-fiction books. She is also a photographer, and some of her photos illustrate her non-fiction stories and books.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8 Greene's novel, based on the Portuguese Inquisition, makes history come alive. Twelve-year-old Isobel is a member of a family of conversos who keep their Judaism hidden. To reeducate Isobel and her sister Maria, friars kidnap both girls and take them to Brazil. Through Isobel's eyes, youngsters experience the anguish of estrangement and the harsh conditions of the slavery in which the children are forced to live. Isobel is shocked when Maria insists that they must hide on separate ships leaving for Amsterdam, but she overcomes her intense fear and goes off on her own. Although Isobel has several close calls, she ultimately reaches safety in New Amsterdam, hopeful that someday she will be reunited with her family. Sometimes her victories are a bit too convenient, but this does not detract from the book's overall appeal. Isobel is a believable character. She is courageous, but her bravery is borne of necessity and a powerful desire to see her family again. In this, she is somewhat reminiscent of Dicey in Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming (Macmillan, 1985) and Mary Call in Vera and Bill Cleaver's Where the Lilies Bloom (Harper, 1969) . Greene has written an engrossing tale about a frightening and shameful period in history. The unfortunate omission of a specific date for the setting could detract from young readers' ease in understanding the book's historical basis. Only the reference to New Amsterdam near the end of the book gives youngsters a frame of reference. In spite of this shortcoming, this would be an excellent addition to collections which already include Claudia Von Canon's The Inheritance (Houghton, 1983). Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, N.J.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Walker Childrens, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110802774016
Book Description Walker Childrens. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0802774016 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1303726
Book Description Walker Books for Young Readers, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0802774016