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Pura Belpré Award Winner Ruth Behar's inspiring story of a young Jewish girl who escapes Poland to make a new life in Cuba, while she works to rescue the rest of her family
The situation is getting dire for Jews in Poland on the eve of World War II. Esther's father has fled to Cuba, and she is the first one to join him. It's heartbreaking to be separated from her beloved sister, so Esther promises to write down everything that happens until they're reunited. And she does, recording both the good--the kindness of the Cuban people and her discovery of a valuable hidden talent--and the bad: the fact that Nazism has found a foothold even in Cuba. Esther's evocative letters are full of her appreciation for life and reveal a resourceful, determined girl with a rare ability to bring people together, all the while striving to get the rest of their family out of Poland before it's too late.
Based on Ruth Behar's family history, this compelling story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the most challenging times.
About the Author
Ruth Behar is an acclaimed author of adult fiction and nonfiction, including the middle-grade novel Lucky Broken Girl. She was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York, and has also lived and worked in Spain and Mexico. An anthropology professor at the University of Michigan, she is co-editor of Women Writing Culture, editor of Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba, and co-editor of The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World. Her honors include a MacArthur "Genius" Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“A delightful, heartfelt book about holding on to who you are and where you’re from when far from home, and the joys and benefits of welcoming other cultures and communities into your own. Will reaffirm your faith in humanity.”—Alan Gratz, author of Refugee