Monday, January 12, 2015

Rivka's Way by Teri Kanefield

Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

If you love historical fiction as much as I do then this is the book for you. Rivka is a fifteen year old girl who lives in the Jewish ghetto of Prague. The time period is the late 1800's. Unlike many of the other Jews in the ghetto, her family has it much better.  You may be wondering why. Her father is a doctor and there for is considere upper class in the ghetto.

Rivka is best friends with her brother Jakob.  She has grown up listening to his stories about the outside world.  He has left Prague to go to school to become a Rabbi.  Her mother just wants her to put foolish notions and stories away and prepare for her arranged engagement. I loved the fact that Rivka wanted to plant trees and other plants so much that she created a garden on the rooftop of her building. Having a garden isn't enough for her.  She wants so much to see what is outside the ghetto that she dresses in boys clothing and travels around as a gentile boy.  I loved her spunk.  I am not sure, given the time period that I would have had as much courage as she had to do this.  I would want the freedom, but I'm not sure I could pull it off.

This is a must read for all historical fiction buffs out there.  You won't regret this one.  Since this is considered a middle grade book I'll let you in on a secret.  I'm not a middle grade kid and I loved it. This is a book to be loved by all ages.

About the Author From Amazon
Teri writes novels, short stories, essays, stories for children, and nonfiction for both children and adults.
Her stories and essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Education Week, Scope Magazine, The Iowa Review, The American Literary Review, and Cricket Magazine.
Her children's books include the critically acclaimed The Girl From the Tar Paper School and Guilty? Crime, Punishment, and the Changing Face Justice. Both books were Junior Library Guild Selections. The Girl From the Tar Paper School was a California Reading Association Silver Honor book. Her first novel, Rivka's Way, was a Sydney Taylor Awards Notable Book. 
Teri lives in California near the beach. 
To learn more about Teri and her books, please visit her website at

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