It’s the summer of 1986, and eleven-year-old Molly just wants to spend the summer with her friends at camp. Instead, she reluctantly heads to Israel to visit family she barely knows! With a less-than-basic knowledge of Hebrew that she picked up in Hebrew school, Molly wonders how she will be able to communicate and have fun in a country that is new and foreign to her. Luckily, surprises are in store.
|Interest Level||Grade 4 - Grade 7|
|Reading Level||Grade 4|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®|
|Number of Pages||144|
“Molly is looking forward to spending the summer at camp with her friends when her parents tell her about a change in plans. She will be visiting her father’s family in Israel instead, spending an entire month staying with them and getting to know them. Her paternal grandparents speak no English and Molly is afraid that no communication will equal no relationship and no fun. Israel seems like a foreign and strange place and Molly is sure she will feel uncomfortable and out-of-place the entire time due to lack of Hebrew-speaking skills and her resentment of a forced change in her summer plans. But when Molly arrives in Israel surprises await. Each is a revelation, and each opens her mind bit by bit. Her English-speaking aunt brings her to a kibbutz where she has fun and she begins to learn about her family and their roots. She gradually sees more of the country and becomes fascinated by the sights and stories she encounters. Slowly, Molly begins to realize that Israel is a treasure chest filled with discoveries. The culture is interesting, the food is interesting, and different does not always mean terrible. Her Israeli grandparents teach her that effective communication can start with smiles and
welcoming gestures and that learning each other’s language can be a labor of love. The story takes place in 1986 and the descriptions show an Israel very different than the country it is today. The descriptions of Israel and the subtle historical lessons which accompany them combine with the story of a maturing young girl to form a satisfying tale.”—Association of Jewish Libraries
Jewish Book Council
“Instead of spending the summer with her friends at camp, Molly goes to Israel for a month for a family wedding. She is nervous about the trip, not wanting to leave her beloved Bubbe to go to a foreign country and stay with family she’s never met, who speak a language she barely knows. However, Molly is pleasantly surprised by Israel and the people she meets there. She learns to communicate with her family on the kibbutz through laughter, smiles, and splashing in the pool. Her aunt and uncle speak English with her and tell her about her family’s roots and the sights and history of Israel. She even learns to understand her grandparents, Safta and Saba,who don’t speak English but are loving and want to connect with their granddaughter.This sweet story offers vivid descriptions of Israel in the 1980s, and offers history lessons woven in through family lore, along with a healthy dose of Jewish education. Recommended for ages 8 to 13.” – Jewish Book Council
Author: Esty Schachter
Esty Schachter is the author of two novels for middle-grade and young adult readers, Anya's Echoes and Waiting for a Sign. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
Illustrator: Alex Orbe
Alex Orbe was inspired to draw by reading comic books at a young age. An illustrator and animator, Alex lives in Spain with his two daughters.