Hannah's Way

illus. by Adam Gustavson. unpaged. CIP. Lerner/Kar-Ben. 2012. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-5137-5; pap. $7.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-5138-2. LC 2009030919.
K-Gr 3—Hannah is having difficulty adjusting to her new life on the Iron Range in Depression-era Minnesota. She has yet to make friends when her teacher announces that the class will be going on a picnic on Saturday and the children should arrange car pools. As an observant Jew, Hannah is unable to ride in a car on the Sabbath. Despite her protests, her parents hold their ground: "Just because there are no other Jews in the community doesn't mean we forget the ways of our people," her father firmly explains. The only way Hannah can go is if she walks the two miles to the park, and her parents insist that she find someone to accompany her. When she finally musters up the courage to explain her predicament to her teacher, she is pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support, understanding, and friendship from her classmates. Oil paintings richly convey both the historical period and the rural, Upper Midwest setting of the story. Based on a true account from the Minnesota History Center, this simple story with a lovely message would pair nicely with Kathryn Lasky's Marven of the Great North Woods (Harcourt, 1997) and Barbara Cohen's Make a Wish, Molly (Doubleday, 1994).—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Lonely Hannah's new school is having a class picnic on a Saturday, but Orthodox Jews can't ride in cars on the Sabbath. When the whole class volunteers to walk with her, Hannah knows that she's made friends. The straightforward text and the painterly illustrations are stiff, but the Depression-era rural Minnesota setting is vivid and the message of acceptance universal.

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