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Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse

Letters From Rifka (original 1993; edition 1998)

by Karen Hesse

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1,307525,970 (4.02)20
Title:Letters From Rifka
Authors:Karen Hesse
Info:Scholastic (1998), Edition: 1ST, Paperback, 148 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:25/5 R

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Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (1993)


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Rifka tells of her Jewish family's emigration from Russia to the United States in the form of letters.
  Jennifer LeGault | Oct 19, 2016 |
This book is a fantastic resource if you are teaching your class about immigration. The book is super unique in that it is written as series of journal entries or letters; also, the students enjoy it because the main character is typically around their age, which puts things into a different perspective for them. The books give students better insight into the experiences of those immigrants who came to America and the hard trials they faced in the process. The narrative is very detailed, and this book would be better utilized in upper grades, possibly 4th grade and higher.
  hannahpere | Oct 2, 2016 |
This is a fantastic story and very well done. Karen Hesse based this book on her own family history. Rifka is a fantastic example of a strong young girl who is at risk of losing everything, yet survives the unthinkable and comes out stronger for it! I highly recommend this book to read. Don't miss out on a wonderful experience. -ER ( )
  WhitneyYPL | Feb 9, 2016 |
Told in a series of letters from Rifka to her cousin, this is an endearing, realistic, and ultimately, hopeful book. Hesse takes the reader with Rifka from Russia to America, through hardship and hope. Rifka's voice draws in the reader, placing you with her as she walks through the trials. I highly recommend this for kids, as a way to learn about history from an engaging viewpoint. This would be excellent in conjunction with the history of Russian during the revolution after WWI, and for learning about immigration to the US during that turbulent time. ( )
  empress8411 | Dec 30, 2015 |
The story is keeping my interest, however, I found it very difficult to get into. I think that it would take a lot of patience and help to get my students started, as the whole epistolary format doesn't really go with the style of narration very well (no one writes letters with full dialogue and with such detail--you forget they're letters and then when you're reminded that they are, the whole thing seems implausible-credibility suffers). That aside, the narrative is compelling.

On page 56...

Okay, I'm used to the style now. Rifka's character should inspire young readers: avid readers and writers to try to write their own poetry & prose; girls who don't think they can get by on looks alone to cherish their intelligence; any young adult to handle new and intimidating experiences with grace and courage. Rifka is definitely a real-life hero and she inspired me to be more selfless. I especially loved how Rifka never gave thought to the fact that all of her troubles were a result of one poor choice and she NEVER blamed the Polish peasant girl---I was constantly dwelling on that fact, but Rifka never did; a true testimony in favor of positive thinking in the face of adversity.

It took me longer than it should have to read it, however, which indicates to me that it didn't hold my interest as much as I'd have liked. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
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In memory of Zeyde and Bubbe, my beloved grandparents
The Weitzman Family
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My dear cousin Tovah, We made it!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140363912, Paperback)

"In letters to her cousin back 'home' in Russia, 12-year-old Rifka tells of her journey to America in 1919, from the dangerous escape over the border through Europe and across the sea to the new country."--Booklist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:47 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family's flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.

(summary from another edition)

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