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Nonfiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Themes: Holocaust, courage, survival, refugees, immigrants, family, adventure, Exodus, Palestine
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 04/Oct/2016
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—An historical story of refugees that speaks to the current international crisis and asks the question: will we keep repeating our past mistakes?
July 11, 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the Exodus 1947, the ship whose fated voyage helped launch the State of Israel. The Ship to Nowhere: On Board the Exodus, by award-winning Canadian author Rona Arato, tells the story through the eyes of Rachel Landesman, an 11-year-old Holocaust survivor. This is the first book on the subject written for children, although adults are finding it equally fascinating.
Most people who have heard of the Exodus know of it through the Leon Uris book of the same title, or from the Paul Newman film. The true story, however, is far different from the fictionalized version. The real Exodus held 4,500 Holocaust survivors trying to get to their homeland, where they could live freely as Jews. Instead, the British, who attacked and boarded the ship, sent them first to France and then to displaced person camps in Germany. Thanks to Ruth Gruber, a renowned war correspondent, and other reporters, their plight sparked worldwide outrage at the British for sending Holocaust survivors to the country that had tried to annihilate them. This outrage helped swing opinion in favour of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Rona is available for interviews and speaking engagements on this amazing and timely story.

AJL Reviews
The short chapters keep the pace fast and hold young readers’ attention... A great story on its own or to add to the series, the book will be an asset to both school and synagogue libraries.
Historical Novels Review
In this timely tale, Rona Arato fuses the stories of real-life passengers with fictitious characters to create the fear, strength, and determination of refugees already devastated by war yet continuing to fight for freedom... This book is an excellent starting point for discussions regarding the Holocaust, racism, and refugees; topics which are, sadly, still in the headlines today.
School Library Journal
Arato's prose is never heavy-handed, nor does it gloss over the lack of food, sanitation, or space available to those on the ship. She deftly allows well-documented events to tell the story. The photos and author's notes enhance the historical perspective.... A solid purchase for school libraries. Hand this book to intelligent young tweens in need of informational texts that dig deep and provide valuable connections to the current refugee crisis.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
...a powerful and engaging tale, a story we should never forget.
Jewish Book Council
... an excellent book with a compelling story for children ages 9-14. It is highly recommended both for its reliable information and for the engaging way that the information is presented.

Awards

Sydney Taylor Book Awards Notable Book for Older Readers  | 2017 | Commended
Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens - Spring 2017  | 2017 | Commended

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