by Rona Arato
Publisher: Second Story Press (October 4, 2016)
This story is so timely in that just after World War 2 no one wanted the Jewish people. I had never read about Project Exodus, and it never occurred to me that the Jews would have had to sneak over to Palestine. It’s crazy to me that after surviving the war, so many people still struggled to live in freedom.
*Parden me while I step on my soapbox for a second, but this is another great example of staying away from history textbooks and read autobiographies, historical fiction, and all the first person nonfiction you can find. Every textbook has the bias of the writer and publisher. If you read a variety of first-person accounts, you are bound to get a real sense of what any given time in history was really like. These stories are uncomfortable to read, but if we don’t read them they will disappear from our collective consciousness. *
Back to this book, the writing is solid middle-grade level, and you could read it aloud to younger kids too. There are real photos of the ship although the story is a compilation of experiences. After their time on the ship, the people aboard were once again in camps until 1948 when they could go to Israel.
Because this is true to life story, some of the dialogue was clunky, but I don’t think it’s so bad that it isn’t worth reading- especially for this age group. I couldn’t find any other books at all with this subject matter.
I couldn’t get this one at the Library and received a review copy from the publisher.