Life With An Accent: One Immigrant’s Quest to Belong

Mar­i­lyn Gottlieb
  • Review
By – March 27, 2017

Things changed for young Frank Levy when his moth­er, who had read Mein Kampf and had tak­en it seri­ous­ly, uproot­ed her Ger­man Jew­ish fam­i­ly and set­tled them in Pales­tine in 1936 in spite of some fam­i­ly ridicule. Frank adapt­ed well into the life of his new home­land although it was hard­er for his par­ents. It was the time of Arab riots, Jew­ish under­ground fight­ing groups, and ille­gal Jew­ish immi­grants try­ing to land by boat in Tel Aviv. Mean­while, in Europe, World War II was clos­ing in on the fam­i­ly left behind. Frank’s par­ents decid­ed to move to Amer­i­ca but were afraid that as Frank was devot­ed to his new land, he would refuse to accom­pa­ny them so they told him it was only for a vaca­tion. When he learned they were there to stay, he resolved that he would nev­er again be at the mer­cy of some­one else’s deci­sion mak­ing but choose his own path from that time forward. 

Mar­i­lyn, the wife Frank mar­ried after the death of his first wife, tells her husband’s sto­ry here with great feel­ing and deep respect. She tells of his time both in Israel and Amer­i­ca and describes both busi­ness and fam­i­ly events. She focus­es main­ly on char­ac­ter traits such as resilience and opti­mism and por­trays him as a role mod­el from whom oth­ers can learn as they nav­i­gate the intri­ca­cies of life.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 12 – 16.

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

Discussion Questions