When I Left My Village

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9780803715615: When I Left My Village

An Ethiopian Jewish family leaves their oppressed mountain village to make a difficult and treacherous journey in the hope of reaching freedom in Israel.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-This companion to Schur's Day of Delight (Dial, 1994) follows a family of Ethiopian Jews (the Beta Israel) in their escape from drought and persecution. Traveling at night on foot through mountains, plains, and desert, 12-year-old Menelik, his parents, and younger brother head for a Sudanese refugee camp. From there, the people are airlifted to Israel; given homes, clothing, and food; and assimilated into a culture that offers them freedom, safety, and equality. The boy tells the story of the perilous journey?of days filled with hunger, fear of discovery, and death; of a furtive border crossing; of weeks of unsanitary living in the crowded camp; and, finally, of resettlement in a small white hut in the hills near Jerusalem. The book reads like a true adventure story. Pinkney's full-page, black-and-white scratchboard illustrations add reality to this fictionalized account of the recent rescue mission that saved the remnants of a little-known civilization. A map of the Middle East shows the family's escape route, and an author's note adds historical information.
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. Schur, who told about Sabbath as celebrated by the Jews of Ethiopia in Day of Delight (1994), broadens her canvas in this book, once again using Menelik, the son of a blacksmith, to narrate the story. This time, Menelik deals with history, not observance, as he speaks of the prejudice encountered by his family in their tiny village and recalls their desperate flight across Ethiopia to Sudan and, finally, into the "promised" land of Israel. The author supplies an afterword explaining the history, but even without knowing the facts, children can't miss the lifelike drama, as Schur pits the family against the government, common robbers, and the drought and hunger encountered during the journey. Pinkney's uncolored scratchboards are arresting but somewhat less distinctive than the illustrations he did for the earlier book, and Schur's text is more substantial, including cultural terms to flavor the story. The upshot is a vivid record, for a somewhat older audience, that recalls not only a significant part of Jewish history but also diasporas of other peoples. Stephanie Zvirin

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Pinkney, J. Brian, Pinkney, Brian
Published by Dial (1996)
ISBN 10: 0803715617 ISBN 13: 9780803715615
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Pinkney, J. Brian; Pinkney, Brian
Published by Dial
ISBN 10: 0803715617 ISBN 13: 9780803715615
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