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Children's Books

Always an Olivia: : A Remarkable Family History

by Carolivia Herron
Publication: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2007

Ages 5 and up

 

A little African-American girl named Carol Olivia, resembling a younger version of the author, listens as her great-grandmother Olivia shares a story from generations ago. It's about her own great-grandmother, a Jewish woman named Sarah who came to America from Italy, where her ancestors lived after fleeing persecution in Spain and Portugal. Sarah is kidnapped by pirates, and she and a young man, also kidnapped, eventually find themselves in the Georgia Sea Islands in 1805. They marry and live among the Geechee people, who came from West Africa. Although they no longer live as Jews, in each generation that follows, a daughter lights the Shabbat candles each Friday night as a remembrance. It's a lovely story that celebrates a family's unusual history. Unfortunately, the illustrations, although colorful, do little to enhance the tale. This will be useful for classroom studies and discussions with a rarely told perspective on families and coming to America. -- Jewish Book World Magazine

 

 

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