Rebekkah's Journey: A World War II Refugee Story (Tales of Young Americans)

by Ann E Burg (Author) Joel Iskowitz (Illustrator)

Rebekkah's Journey: A World War II Refugee Story (Tales of Young Americans)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
In 1944 a vacant army base in upstate New York became the temporary home of over 900 men, women and children who had fled Europe towards the end of World War II. With little more than the clothing on their backs, Rebekkah and her mother are just two of the many refugees who come to live in the camp. Adjusting to a strange new world and a new language, Rebekkah puts aside her own fears to try and recreate tiny bits of home for her mother. A fictional story based on the real-life experiences of surviving refugees, Rebekkah's Journey shares the illuminating story of one refugee's arrival on America's shores.
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School Library Journal

Gr 3-5 In 1944, President Roosevelt invited 1000 European displaced persons to stay at an American army base in Oswego, NY. Rebekkah and her mother are two of the Jewish refugees who make the journey, living in the safe but confining conditions of the base. This quiet story is largely based on interviews with former shelter residents, and is told from seven-year-old Rebekkah's point of view. Perhaps because of its basis in long-ago memories, the narrative seems rather dreamy and loosely connected, with little historical context provided. Mystifyingly, it leaves the biggest question unanswered: Why were the refugees kept fenced in once they reached America? The text is not emotionally involving and does not provide enough detail for reports. The illustrations are muddy and dull, and sometimes have the photographic quality of having caught the characters in unattractive moments. Several times, the art directly contradicts descriptions in the text, as when a rabbi with a "long black beard" is pictured with a short white beard. Despite its shortcomings, the book might find a place in collections that focus on Holocaust studies or modern American history. However, it is unlikely to appeal to general readers."Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL" Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date
August 20, 2006
Tales of Young Americans
BISAC categories
JUV016150 - Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States - 20th Century
Library of Congress categories
United States
World War, 1939-1945
Jewish refugees

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