Yuvi’s Candy Tree is a fictional narrative of the real-life journey of Yeuvmert “Yuvi” Tashome who as a child participated in Operation Moses which enabled about 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to move to Israel, leaving from Sudanese refugee camps. Sadly, many Ethiopian Jews also died while attempting to make aliya. Yuvi left Ethiopia by riding a donkey. This moving picture book conveys a sense of optimism about the future despite the significant challenges faced by Yuvi’s family. Yuvi’s grandmother says, “We are going to our real home, to Israel. In Jerusalem, your wishes will come true.” The suffering and hardship Ethiopian Jews experienced in their efforts to make aliya are well described. For instance, Yuvi and the members of her family are robbed while traveling to a refugee camp in Sudan, and they are often hungry. The illustrations are a good portrayal of the daily struggles many Ethiopian Jews experienced. Moreover, the vivid, colorful illustrations make Yuvi’s story unforgettable and inspiring. This important picture book is recommended for ages 5 – 8.
Nathan Weissler is a senior in high school and lives in Chevy Chase, MD with his family. He has been writing reviews for Jewish Book World for two years. Nathan loves to read, especially books related to Judaism and history.