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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 200
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/Jan/2005
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A coming-of age story about two girls, separated in time by thousands of years, who are forced to leave their homes and make a dangerous journey to an unknown land.

KidsWWrite
This book is sort of mystical and wonderful, like the world inside it.
London Jewish News
This tale should attract readers well beyond the ten to fourteen age category for whom the work is intended.
Association of Jewish Libraries
A wonderful historical novel that is compassionate and breathtaking for teens and adults alike.
Resource Links
Good, even great at times, generally useful!
The Jewish Independent

The Jewish Independent

September 20th, 2005

Tales of endurance, bravery Holocaust, Ethiopia and sweatshops are topics of youth books. By Cynthia Ramsay

If anyone thinks that being a kid is easy, they are wrong. The Independent reviews three books targeted to readers age 10-plus that deal with serious subject matter in an entertaining and educational way. The stories' heroes – both real and fictional – show courage in the face of adversity and not only survive their harsh situations, but triumph in the end….

Two girls in Ethiopia

Daughters of the Ark (Second Story Press, 2005) by Anna Morgan mixes fact and fiction, relating the stories of two young girls who each face a dangerous journey to a new land. The first is Aleesha, a character who lives in961 BCE – she and her family are sent from Jerusalem to join the court of the Queen of Sheba in Ethiopia. The second part of the story is based on real events and a living person named Debritu, who, because of famine and war, has to travel in the opposite direction. The girls' lives are linked through the tale of an emerald stolen from the ancient ark in King Solomon's Temple and brought to Ethiopia; handed down through the generations, it comes into Debritu's care.

Storytelling has always served myriad purposes, including to entertain, to convey history and tradition and to educate people about the world around them. Daughters of the Ark fulfils all of these functions. The stories of Aleesha and Debritu are exciting and it is such a well-written novel for children that they almost won't even notice that they're learning about the ancient African-Jewish community known as the Betya Israel or Falashas ("Outsiders"). There is a timeline at the end of the book, as well as maps of the ancient and contemporary regions in Africa and photos of a couple of towns in Ethiopia and of Debritu (who changed her name to Shula) on her first trip back to the country from Israel, where she currently lives….

Awards

Pennsylvania School Librarians’ Association – Top Ten (or so!) Favorites  | 2005 | Commended

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