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Borders: A Journey from Poland to Palestine, 1939-1943 Kindle Edition

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Length: 193 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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"A worthwhile addition to the Holocaust genre, particularly suitable to a classroom setting...." --Kirkus Indie Reviews

"Blue-eyed Claire lives with her close-knit family—her parents and 10-year-old sister, Hannah—in the southeastern Polish town of Dynow. Down the street are her zaydie (grandfather), who has a meaningful story for every occasion, and her bubbie (grandmother), who enjoys remembering what it was like to be an adolescent. As the story begins, Claire’s primary concern is whether a chicken bought for dinner will be blessed as kosher by the rabbi. But it’s September 1939, and many Jews are at risk. Jewish men are rounded up after Germans cross the Polish border, but Claire’s father and grandfather escape. Many Christians in Dynow turn a blind eye as Jews are shot to death and buried, or burned alive in the synagogues. After being exiled, Claire reunites with her father and her zaydie in eastern Poland, and eventually she and her family must choose whether to become Russian citizens. Through it all, Claire sustains the belief that safety and happiness are tied to passage to Palestine. Aviv’s novel is a compelling tale about sacrifice, family loyalty and hard choices in hard times. An underlying theme examines why the Jews didn’t fight back, echoed in the recent film Defiance. At the center is gritty Claire, a resilient character of sand and sass, who’s honest about her feelings and her reactions to historic events. In spite of her tender years, she is often vocally at odds with those around her, as she intuits that life has changed fundamentally and possibly irrevocably, as she learns to navigate new worlds with new rules. At the core is a basic survival instinct—like choosing boots over food in Siberia—even as she longs for a return to normalcy. Life lessons include poverty, benefiting from the black market, and learning who among many strangers can be trusted. The pacing, though not brisk, is steady, as is interest in the fates of Claire and her family as they attempt to keep the Jewish soul alive in emaciated bodies. Along the way, there are touching moments of first love, jealousy and sexual attraction, juxtaposed with displacement, nonstop hunger and disease. ...the narrative is strong, with valuable insights for teens and young teens." -- Kirkus Indie Reviews

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 712 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Publisher: 108th Street Publishers (Feb. 20 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9af0372c) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae7421c) out of 5 stars Holding hands with Steinbeck Feb. 29 2012
By Joseph Raff - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
As a Steinbeck fan I felt Beth Aviv's compassion which both authors express so vividly-- in narration of universal sentiments, a sweetness of familial love, and, of course, the endearing ethnic envelope contingent to tortured people. A pleasure to read and moving in every sense.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aefbed0) out of 5 stars Wonderful story of a very real family Feb. 23 2012
By Power of 26 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
So many YA books condescend to their readers, but not this one! Aviv gives us a richly told story of a family at a difficult juncture both in the arc of history and in their individual lives. The characters feel very real, and Aviv never shies away from the complex dynamics of their relationships. I'm glad I got to travel across the borders with them. It was a journey that was eye-opening for me, one that was heartrending, joyous, and in the end, hopeful.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By elizabeth buzzelli - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
BORDERS is one of those books you will read and not get out of your mind. There are images here that, in the hands of a lesser writer than Aviv, wouldn't have been nearly as moving. Read this book as history, but also as literature. One of those small gems we come across from time to time--if we're lucky. Borders: A Journey from Poland to Palestine, 1939-1943
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aed5f24) out of 5 stars Had me in tears! March 6 2012
By Susanna S. Macomb - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautifully written book that mirrors the best and the worst of humanity. Told through the eyes of two young girls---the characters, places and events became very real to me. I always looked forward to my journey through their lives, and I was sad to leave them when I was finished reading. There are acts of great cruelty and acts of hope. I cried for both. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b241a44) out of 5 stars So real and so relatable..... July 22 2012
By L.Y. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though an infant at the time this story ends, and a world away in America, I am struck by the tender moments in this young woman's story that we share: the first Seder after the death of a loved one (Claire's grandfather, my parents); the "a-la" affectionately added to the children's names; the universal Yiddish phrases; the mother describing when a girl first got her period (my mother tapped our cheeks with a wooden spoon); the love-you-to-the-moon sentiments; the sisters' relationship...all so real and relatable. The well-written story, however, has a more important tale to tell--unfortunately also real. Thank G-d, only my heart could relate. I know the facts and as told, Aviv's documentation of the journeys of Claire, her family, friends and those she met along the way are just right for a young audience. And for this adult as well, as I try to understand how 'regular' people so bravely can endure such fright, tragedy, and hardship. This work is an important contribution to the need to remember. I especially liked the ending. I hope Aviv's BORDERS: A Journey... becomes a best-seller.