By: Linda Glaser
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: March 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2012
Hannah smiled as she folded her hands in front of her on her desk when Miss Hartley declared, “This Saturday is our fall picnic.” Her family had just moved from Minneapolis to northern Minnesota and it would be the perfect time to make a few new friends. Hannah’s heart sank when it was announced that the picnic was going to be held at Grove Park, a full two miles away. It was on a Saturday and she’d need a ride. That was a big problem for Hannah because Saturday was the Sabbath. It made her long for her old home because her friends would understand.
That night she approached Mama and Papa and told them about the picnic. Mama was knitting, but frowned over her glasses and stopped long enough to tell her it was unacceptable. Hannah began to plead, but Papa didn’t waver as he said, “You know that Saturday is our day of rest. We don’t work or drive on the Sabbath.” The next night was a repeat of the first, but Jews couldn’t “forget the ways of [their] people.” The other children had rides and even Miss Hartley claimed she would help her get one, but there was that little problem. Would she ever have any friends if she told them why she couldn’t ride in the car? Was there any way she could get to that picnic?
This tale, set in the Midwest in the 1930s, was inspired by a real girl who encountered a problem similar to Hannah’s. European Jewish immigrants to the West often found they were the only Jews in their newfound communities. The story is sad, but heartwarming as Hannah finds a solution to her problem. The artwork has a beautiful, vintage aura to it and is quite captivating. In the back of the book there is a brief author’s note about her inspiration for the tale, the era in which the story takes place, and a period photograph.
Quill says: This is a touching story of how Hannah, an Orthodox Jew, found a way to make friends and honor her religion.