Rey­na and the Jade Star

Robin K. Levin­son; Drusil­la Kehl, illus.
  • Review
By – December 19, 2011

The year is 1175. Twelve-year-old Rey­na Li and her father Jehu­da are mem­bers of the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Kaifeng, China.Reyna is spe­cial in that she has a gift; she can read people’s body lan­guage and can sense if they are hon­est or not. With her gift, she helps her father in his busi­ness rela­tion­ships. But when the mys­te­ri­ous Mr. Virat makes Jehu­da an offer he can’t refuse, Jehu­da will not lis­ten to Reyna’s con­cerns and sets off on a dan­ger­ous jour­ney. Rey­na fol­lows him and makes a dar­ing attempt to res­cue him in the desert. On her jour­ney, Rey­na is befriend­ed by a fam­i­ly with a 14- year-old boy named Jin. As Reyna’s friend­ship with Jin deep­ens, she tells him about her Jew­ish her­itage, the sit­u­a­tion her father is in and her plans to res­cue her father. Jin choos­es to go with Rey­na on her adventure. 

With a nod to Pearl Buck’s Peony,” this is an excit­ing sto­ry, which both boys and girls will enjoy. Through this sto­ry, the read­ers will also dis­cov­er how the Jew­ish peo­ple came to Chi­na, the tra­di­tions they main­tained and the life style they lived. This book fills a need for sto­ries about this his­tor­i­cal time and place. For ages 8 – 12

Diane Levin Rauschw­erg­er is librar­i­an for Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, and has worked as a children’s librar­i­an for the Sun­ny­vale Pub­lic Library. She is the author of a series of children’s pic­ture books, includ­ing Dinosaur on Hanukkah, Dinosaur on Passover, and Dinosaur on Shab­bat, pub­lished by Kar-Ben Publishing.

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