Too Far From Home

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 7
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

“There’s an Ethiopian; there’s an Ethiopian!” I heard them shouting. I looked behind me, but I couldn’t see any Ethiopian. Children began crowding round me, and I still didn’t realize that they meant me, I was the Ethiopian.

Meskerem was born in a small town in the Golan Heights of Israel, to an Ethiopian mother and an American father. Soon after Operation Solomon, when several thousand Ethiopian immigrants were brought to Israel, Meskerem’s parents decided to move to the center of the country, to the town of Herzelia. Meskerem comes face-to-face with the ignorance and prejudices of her new classmates, many of whom are meeting someone dark-skinned for the first time. With the help of her Ethiopian grandmother, who remained in Kazerin, Meskerem comes to terms with who she is and finds strength in belonging to three different cultures.

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Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 7
Reading Level Grade 5
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 96
Publication Date 2020-03-03
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV033020, JUV030110, JUV039120
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Lexile 700
ATOS Reading Level 4.6
Accelerated Reader® Points 2.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed

Author: Naomi Shmuel

Naomi Shmuel is an author of more than 15 books, as well as an illustrator and anthropologist. She was the author of the first children's books in Hebrew to feature characters of color. Born in England, she began writing for her own children following their encounters with bias: her husband made the long and difficult journey on foot from Ethiopia to Sudan in order to reach Israel. The Hebrew version of Too Far From Home won the international Anderson Prize. She lives in Israel.

Illustrator: Avi Katz

Avi Katz, best known as the illustrator of Jerusalem Report magazine, has illustrated over 100 books. He lives in Israel.


Jewish Book Council

“The book’s focus on immi­gra­tion and fam­i­ly will be rel­e­vant to many read­ers and enlight­en­ing to oth­ers. Meskerem’s expe­ri­ences and their his­tor­i­cal con­text are impor­tant for read­ers of all back­grounds. This wor­thy sto­ry, which approach­es race, big­otry, and mul­ti­cul­tur­al Jew­ish her­itage, is high­ly recommended.” — Jillian Bietz, Jewish Book Council

Midwest Book Review

“A deftly written and thoroughly entertaining story with an important underlying message about the value of tolerance and cultural differences, ‘Too Far From Home’ is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library collections for young readers ages 8-13.” — James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review, Oregon WI

A Journey To A Promised Land Which Flows With Milk and Honey

“This is a book that I think will help children to understand some of the challenges of being too far from home.” — Jill Harris

Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will respond to this portrait of a proud, loving family in a difficult situation.” — Kirkus Reviews