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Letters from Rifka

Letters from Rifka

Écrit par Karen Hesse

Raconté par Angela Dawe


Letters from Rifka

Écrit par Karen Hesse

Raconté par Angela Dawe

évaluations:
4.5/5 (18 évaluations)
Longueur:
3 heures
Sortie:
Aug 20, 2010
ISBN:
9781441818157
Format:
Livre audio

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Description

Rifka knows nothing about America when she flees from Russia with her family in 1919. But she dreams she will at last be safe from the Russian soldiers and their harsh treatment of the Jews in the new country. Throughout her journey, Rifka carries with her a cherished volume of poetry by Alexander Pushkin. In it, she records her observations and experiences in the form of letters to her beloved cousin she has left behind. Strong-hearted and determined, Rifka must endure a great deal: humiliating examinations by doctors and soldiers, deadly typhus, separation from all she has ever known and loved, murderous storms at sea - and as if this is not enough, the loss of her glorious golden hair. And even if she does make it to America, she's not sure America will have her.

"Hesse's vivacious tale colorfully and convincingly refreshes the immigrant experience." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Based largely on the memories of the author's great-aunt, this historical novel has a plot, characters, and style that will make it an often-requested choice from young readers. A vivid, memorable, and involving reading experience." - School Library Journal, Starred Review
Sortie:
Aug 20, 2010
ISBN:
9781441818157
Format:
Livre audio

Également disponible en tant que...

Également disponible en tant que livreLivre

À propos de l'auteur

Karen Hesse is the author of many books for young people, including Out of the Dust, winner of the Newbery Medal, Letters from Rifka, Brooklyn Bridge, Phoenix Rising, Sable and Lavender. In addition to the Newbery, she has received honors including the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award, the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award and the Christopher Award, and was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award. Born in Baltimore, Hesse graduated from the University of Maryland. She and her husband Randy live in Vermont.


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4.3
18 évaluations / 14 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    Rifka endures many hardships as she and her family flee a Russia that is looking for Jews in order to persecute them. Excellent novel.
  • (5/5)
    Growing up, this was one of my favorite books. I received a copy from my sister, and I read it numerous times over the course of six or seven years. I remember being so fascinated by Rifka's story - I still think back to it today. Occasionally, when I grab a banana, I remember Rifka laughing about how people on the island used banana's to tell if someone was a new immigrant. I want to have a copy of this book to keep and read for years to come and then to pass on to newer readers.
  • (4/5)
    I read this in 6th grade. I'm more than willing to bet that a good deal of my enjoyment of this book was thanks to my teacher's phenomenal reading voice. Even still, the best reading voice can't save a bad book, so it had to be pretty decent. I really enjoyed what I remember of this book.
  • (4/5)
    This is an easy, quick, historical fiction book that vividly illustrates what it was like to escape from the Germans when you were Jewish during the Halocaust. Rifka gets detained when she and her family try to get on a ship to go to America because she got a disease from a passenger on the train. She must use all of her courage to survive without her family in this strange place while she is treated. A inspiring read.
  • (4/5)
    I would have to agree with Katie on this one. Totally a great book. Can be a quick read or a book read inbetween long books being read. Rifka is traveling from Russia to America with her two older brothers and parents. They experience religious discrimination, exotic towns, new experiences, doctors, soldiers and even a deadly disease. In Belgium rifka is left to be cured of a disease. Great story but I would say could be more developed and detailed. The book is writen in the form of letters, from Rifka to her dear cousin back home, Tova. She never sends the letters to her friend, but writes in her diary as if she is speaking or writing to Tova.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the best books that I've read regarding a Jewish family immigrating from Russia to the United States during WWII. I didn't know that immigrants could be kept from entering America at Ellis Island because of diseases or conditions. The book is written as letters from Rifka to her cousin describing the events they had to go through regarding guards and examinations along with the lonliness and despair she had to endure when she was left behind when her family went to America. I felt like I was almost in the story because it was so emotional.
  • (4/5)
    Karen Hesse also wrote Out of the Dust, one of my favorite Newbery award winning books. Once again, I am in awe of Hesses' ability to portray a historical period with characters who take us on a journey through time wherein the emotions and the setting paint vivid images of overcoming difficult adversity.This book is well deserving of the many accolades it received, including some of the following:Horn Book Outstanding Book of the YearAmerican Library Association Notable BookNational Jewish Book Award-------------------Travel with a twelve-year old Jewish young woman Rifka as she and her family dangerously slip out of Russia to avoid persecution. Her prize possession is a book of poetry by the great Russian author Puskin. It is the love of poetry, of family and the kindness of strangers that sustains Rifka. Learn the courage and difficulty of the immigrant experience. Smile at the fortitude of this spunky character who faces extreme adversity.As Rifka travels she writes to her cousin Tovah who remains in Russia. The book is a series of letters of Rifka's journey and her dramatic experiences as her family flees senseless hate and bigotry with the hope of a new life in America.Taken from real life experience of the author's Aunt Lucy, this is a compelling story of despair balanced with hope, of loss and then gain, of tragedy and then light.Highly recommended!
  • (4/5)
    Although this is a compelling and suspenseful story, the epistolary/diary format really doesn't work. It's very hard to get those to work right, and in this case it has the usual problem: the narrative is WAY too detailed to make a convincing letter.There is also the problem of Rifka writing facts in her letters that the reader doesn't know, but which her cousin clearly would -- like, listing the names of her brothers, when in a real letter she would just say "My brothers," and also explaining about pogroms and the Russian government drafting Jewish boys as soldiers -- which her cousin, being a Russian Jew, would not need to be told. The author could have been more smooth in imparting necessary information, perhaps in a foreword.Maybe most people aren't bothered by that sort of thing, but it bothers me. Hence, three and a half stars instead of four.
  • (4/5)
    Told in a series of letters from Rifka to her cousin, this is an endearing, realistic, and ultimately, hopeful book. Hesse takes the reader with Rifka from Russia to America, through hardship and hope. Rifka's voice draws in the reader, placing you with her as she walks through the trials. I highly recommend this for kids, as a way to learn about history from an engaging viewpoint. This would be excellent in conjunction with the history of Russian during the revolution after WWI, and for learning about immigration to the US during that turbulent time.
  • (3/5)
    The story is keeping my interest, however, I found it very difficult to get into. I think that it would take a lot of patience and help to get my students started, as the whole epistolary format doesn't really go with the style of narration very well (no one writes letters with full dialogue and with such detail--you forget they're letters and then when you're reminded that they are, the whole thing seems implausible-credibility suffers). That aside, the narrative is compelling.

    On page 56...

    Okay, I'm used to the style now. Rifka's character should inspire young readers: avid readers and writers to try to write their own poetry & prose; girls who don't think they can get by on looks alone to cherish their intelligence; any young adult to handle new and intimidating experiences with grace and courage. Rifka is definitely a real-life hero and she inspired me to be more selfless. I especially loved how Rifka never gave thought to the fact that all of her troubles were a result of one poor choice and she NEVER blamed the Polish peasant girl---I was constantly dwelling on that fact, but Rifka never did; a true testimony in favor of positive thinking in the face of adversity.

    It took me longer than it should have to read it, however, which indicates to me that it didn't hold my interest as much as I'd have liked.
  • (2/5)
    Children's Books Too Cool For SchoolAs the title implies, this is an epistolary novel taking the form of un-mailable letters written in the end papers, then margins, of a volume of Pushkin. The volume had been given to Rifka by a richer Russian cousin that Rifka will very likely never see again, and so the letters are really more of a diary. We learn that one of Rifka's brothers has deserted the Russian army and another is about to be drafted into it, so Rifka's family's need to escape is very urgent. They slink away, hiding in boxcars, to cross the border into Poland -- where they are promptly stricken with Typhus. Once recovered, they resume their journey to America, but Rifka is left behind in Belgium, because she has come down with ringworm and would be denied entry to the States. At first she feels very lost and abandoned, but a Jewish organization to help immigrants settles her with a family and, well, Rifka really isn't the type that can be melancholy for long.This novel documents some of the experiences of Hesse's own family -- so I suppose it is important to remember that while there may have been a common immigrant experience, each individual's story is unique. However, there are an awful lot of children's books on this particular subject. Also, true or not, there is just something about Rifka's typhus, followed by ringworm, followed by being quarantined because her hair won't grow that is just kind of like a pile-on. Maybe in a longer story it wouldn't have seemed like too much, but in this slim volume it starts to strain the bounds of believability.For Russian/Jewish immigrant stories, I think Dreams in the Golden Country, a "Dear America" book, is actually better story -- although as a fan of Karen Hesse, I hate to say it. Still, it isn't as if you can only read one book on a particular subject or anything, and Rifka is certainly not a waste of time. Best for girls aged 9-11.
  • (4/5)
    Karen Hesse uses the epistolary style to present the story of a Russian Jewish girl, and her family, escaping persecution with the hope of a new life in America. The story is based on the real life experience of the author’s Aunt Lucy. Rifka tells the story completely through letters to her cousin Tovah, which are written in the margins of her beloved book of poetry by Alexander Pushkin. The author takes the reader through the immigrant experience in a way that connects with readers. The use of letters makes the novel extremely personal in nature and the reader strongly bonds to Rifka, who shares her experiences, fears, thoughts, hopes, and worries of the unknown. The setting of the book is constantly changing in terms of location. However, the time period is clearly and effectively communicated through descriptions of clothing, modes of transportation, food (most memorable is the abundance of herring and onions). Hesse excels at illustrating the contrast between life, material items, food, and every day events in the family between Russia and Poland, compared to that of Western Europe and New York City, even on Ellis Island. Hesse successfully describes the various settings by sharing Rifka’s experiences through her senses, such as the smells on trains, and what she sees, the lovely markets and gardens of Antwerp, the crowds at Ellis Island. Rifka herself experiences a great transformation through her own story. She is brave and courageous right from the beginning, but not independent and strong. She is living in fear. While on her journey, she experiences the kindness of others, even those who are not Jewish, and begins to trust. She develops confidence in herself and her abilities.I highly recommend this book for children ages 9-12 and anyone interested in the immigrant experience, the experience of Russian Jews, and/or genealogy.
  • (5/5)
    An incredible book. The protagonist, Rifka, writes her story as a series of letters to her cousin Tovah in the book of poetry that Tovah had given her before Rifka's family was forced to flee Russia. Rifka and her family flee their village before her brothers can be captured and killed by the Russian army, but their escape is not easy. Russia was a cruel and unsafe place for its Jewish citizen who often weren't allowed to have decent jobs, keep their most prized posessions, or leave their small communities without written permission. Cruelty, fear, and illness make their travel slow and painful. Rifka experiences many things she never has before and writes about it all in these letters to Tovah, even knowing that she might not ever hear from her dear cousin-or any of her family- ever again.I won't give away how Rifka's story ends, but will say that this is a beautiful and moving book. It's an award-winning book for children and young adults, but I think it could be a worthwhile read for any age. I started reading "Letters from Rifka" this morning and was finished by noon, so it's quite short, but it's also captiving and graceful in the way that it's told.
  • (5/5)
    This book is so good because it has an adventure in history!!!!