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Children's Books

Daughters of the Ark

by Anna Morgan
Publication: Second Story Press, 2008

Ages 7-8

 

In 939 B.C.E. a daring girl and her priestly Jewish family journey from Jerusalem to Ethiopia in the company of the son of Solomon and Sheba. It is rumored that they may be transporting the Ark of the Covenant; the most important symbol of their faith. They do not know that Aleesha took an emerald from it and secreted it in her coat. Thus begins the civilization of the Beyta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) and the tradition of handing down the emerald to a female in each succeeding generation. The story then moves to 1984. Ethiopia is dealing with discrimination, famine, and unrest. As readers learn in the parallel stories, Debritu, 14, is as questioning and willful as her ancestor Aleesha. With her father conscripted into the army, and her mother in the hospital, Debritu must take her younger brothers, and the emerald, on the long and treacherous journey to Israel. Discriminating readers will be put off by the plots clumsiness and improbabilities, the thinness of the characters, and even lapses of grammar. The book does not realize its potential. Its an undistinguished adventure story despite positive heroines. -- School Library Journal

 

 

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