This Wild West story is a bit different than the run-of-the-mill fare for middle grade and slightly older readers, and the unusual setting provides for a fun reading experience.
Thirteen-year-old Rose, from a traditional and observant Jewish family in El Paso Texas, is shocked to discover that her older brother, unbeknownst to the rest of the family, has joined Pancho Villa’s army. She decides she has to rescue him from this dangerous undertaking and off she goes on a frightening but exciting desert adventure which includes being kidnapped by revolutionaries and meeting a cast of characters unlike anyone she has ever imagined she might encounter. In the process, Rose learns much about the world and much about herself and emerges as a more rounded and more insightful individual.
Highly recommended for readers ages 9 to 12 who are looking for an exciting story with a Jewish twist set in an unexpected locale. A little lesson in Mexican and U.S. history is an added bonus. An author’s note, a Spanish glossary, and a Yiddish glossary are included.
Read our interview with Susan Krawitz here.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.