The Orphan Rescue

Anne Dublin; Qin Leng, illus.
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
The first para­graphs place the read­er in Poland, 1937, wit­ness­ing David enter­ing an orphan­age because his grand­par­ents can no longer afford to feed him. Miri­am, his sis­ter, is old enough to work for a butch­er and so she is to stay at home and help sup­port their aging grand­par­ents. The deaths of Miri­am and David’s par­ents from dis­ease and pover­ty have made the chil­dren vic­tims of the Great Depres­sion that has affect­ed the whole world.
Our hero­ine, Miri­am, has oth­er plans. She uses her check­er game play­ing skills to cre­ate a plan to help her broth­er escape. The sto­ry deep­ens when she dis­cov­ers that the orphan­age is mak­ing the chil­dren work in sweat fac­to­ries. Miri­am befriends anoth­er orphan boy, who aids in David’s home­com­ing, and togeth­er they reveal the crim­i­nal activ­i­ty of the orphan­age. The three young­sters alter the course of their lives with their sheer deter­mi­na­tion. This pre-WWII sto­ry pro­vides a view into the tenac­i­ty, inge­nu­ity and strength of young Jews pri­or to the Holo­caust, giv­ing stu­dents and teach­ers a his­tor­i­cal plat­form from which to study the unfold­ing of 20th cen­tu­ry his­to­ry of Europe. The after­word explains that the nov­el is based on a fam­i­ly sto­ry told to the author by her father.. This engag­ing and easy to read chap­ter book fills a need for Jew­ish his­tor­i­cal fic­tion for ear­ly read­ers. For ages 8 – 10.
Chris­tine Maas­dam holds a Mas­ters in Human­i­ties, cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in Muse­um Stud­ies and Cul­tur­al Prop­er­ty Pro­tec­tion. She is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing her M.L.I.S. Her inter­ests are phi­los­o­phy and the impact of art and tech­nol­o­gy on culture.

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