Golden Windows and Other Stories of Jerusalem

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9780060229412: Golden Windows and Other Stories of Jerusalem

Five short stories which describe what it was like to grow up in Jerusalem in the first half of the twentieth century.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-Three generations of a family are visited in these five short vignettes, all set against the backdrop of Jerusalem's small winding streets and tiny shops. The opening stories take place in 1910 and 1912 and feature Pnina, a spirited child whose explorations of the city eventually involve her large and receptive family. The third and fourth stories, which focus on the next generation after the Second World War, are the strongest. In "Beyond the Cross-Stitch Mountains," Pnina's niece, who has inherited her restlessness, and a neighbor boy chafe against the restrictions on their movements during the 1948 war for Israel's independence, and strike out on an adventure that involves a stray bullet and a rich relative. In "Dreams of Fire," set two years later, the boy is haunted by dreams caused by Bab-el-Waad, a memorial to the war dead. The last story, set in 1954, marks the beginning of normalcy for the next generation, who are able to grow up with the concerns of school girls anywhere. These slices of life, which have neither fast-paced plots nor in-depth characterizations, are quiet dramas about people caught up in the events and milieu of a certain time and place. They would be effective read-alouds and should spark discussion.
Amy Kellman, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 4-7. Reading Geras' five interconnected stories is like peering through "golden windows" at life in early twentieth-century Jerusalem and simultaneously seeing universal views of human nature. The title story, set in 1910, introduces the kindly widow Zehava Genzel and her daughter, Pnina, who in an outing to a shop run by two elderly sisters learns about the pogrom in which the shopkeepers' mother and baby sister were murdered and that sent the sisters, like so many other Jewish refugees, fleeing Russia for Jerusalem. In another story, set in 1948, Pnina is an adult looking after her 11-year-old niece, Daskeh, an especially challenging task during the War of Independence and the siege of Jerusalem. Chafing from being cooped up all night each night in a bomb shelter, Daskeh plots with her friend Danny to visit his aunt on the other side of Jerusalem. They almost make it when Danny is struck by a stray bullet; fortunately, his injury is only serious enough for Daskeh to realize the risk she took and to put aside her wanderlust until safer times. Well-written, laced with subtleties of history, and rich in personal emotion, this lovely collection of stories lends reality and humanity to a not too distant time and place. Readers will be left longing for sequels to continue the tales of Zehava Genzel and her family. Ellen Mandel

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Adele Geras
Published by Harpercollins Childrens Books (1993)
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