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Broken Song


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About the Author

Award-winning author Kathryn Lasky has written many fiction and nonfiction books for children, including the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series upon which the computer-animated Warner Brothers film "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," is based. Ms. Lasky is also the author of the Newbery Honor Book Sugaring Time. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Gr 5-9-Through rich prose filled with imagery, distinct characterization, and historical research, Lasky breathes life into the horrific history of anti-Semitism in Russia in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. At the start of the book, 15-year-old Reuven Bloom, a talented violinist, focuses on music and trying to balance his Talmudic studies, but the vicious activities of the Czar's army soon change his life. His best friend is kidnapped and taken to be a soldier. Soldiers murder his parents and older sister, and only Reuven and his baby sister survive. Circumstances make the teen courageous as he tries to escape the Cossacks and to find a cousin in Vilna who might help him and Rachel reach safety in the United States. She is taken to America when Reuven agrees to join the revolutionary movement and fight, and he joins her six years later. This reads like an adventure story, but the research at its foundation is clearly evident. Reuven was first introduced in Lasky's The Night Journey (Penguin, 1986), but this novel easily stands on its own. An excellent addition to any collection.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Reuven Bloom, who aided Sashie and her family in their flight from Russia in The Night Journey, tells his own story of leaving Russia for Poland in 1897, in Broken Song by Kathryn Lasky, set during a time when the tsar's soldiers led pogroms against the Jews. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

An excellent addition to any collection. (School Library Journal)

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