Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Night of the Burning

Wulf, Linda Press. 2006. The Night of the Burning: Devorah's Story.

Linda Press Wulf's first novel is inspired by the childhood of her mother-in-law, Devorah Lehrman. Beautifully written, it is a story about the anguish of losing family and home and the importance of remembering. The novel won the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award and first prize for a juvenile fiction manuscript from the California Writers Club.

Based on a true story, The Night of the Burning, tells the story of two sisters, orphans who at the ages of twelve and nine have witnessed too much already: the death of their uncle, father, mother, aunt, and the destruction of the entire Jewish community where they lived. As their community's sole survivors, the girls are rescued and sent to an orphanage in Pinsk. There the girls are chosen to be part of two hundred children sent to the Jewish community in South Africa. Their leader, a philanthropist, Isaac Ochberg, whom the children call "Daddy Ochberg."

The man patted the bench next to him, and I sat down warily. "I'll explain why I am here," he began. "I've come a long way, from a country called South Africa, down at the tip of Africa. There are Jewish people there, and they're worried about all the children in Europe who have no fathers and mothers because of the Great War. Ant that craziness they call the Russian Revolution." I knew about the Great War and the Russian Revolution, but they meant nothing to me. I only thought about the morning when we tucked Papa's blankets in to try to keep him warm, when he was already dead. And I thought about Mama before she died, calling for more water, more water, as the typhoid burned her from inside. I thought about the flames galloping through our village, the synagogue glowing red against the night. I shook my head to get rid of those thoughts. I needed to concentrate on the strange things Mr. Ochberg was saying. "So they sent me to find two hundred children and bring them back to South Africa. It's a beautiful country and a safe place for Jews. I'll take you and your little sister. But only if you really want to go with me." (7-8)

The story is communicated through a series of flashbacks, juxtaposing her journey to South Africa with her memories of home both pleasant and frightening. Our narrator is Devorah who ages from twelve to fourteen throughout the telling of this story. It is an amazing story of hope and despair, fear and joy, tears and laughter. It is the journey of how two sisters learned to laugh, love, and hope once more.

http://www.lindapresswulf.com/
Isaac Ochberg

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP