Jewish Values: Tough Times

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168 p.
Milton Meltzer has been a prolific contributor of Jewish literature for young people for decades. Now, at age ninety, he has written what appears to be a fictionalized autobiography. In the early 1930s, seventeen-year-old Joey is attending high school and working to help his family survive the Great Depression. He and his girlfriend and confidant, Kate, have aspirations to go to college. But as the world gets darker, their plans are derailed in several ways, including their fathers' job troubles and a brush with the law. In the spring of 1932, Joey, his father and some friends join the Bonus Army protest against Congress and President Herbert Hoover. When soldiers destroy their camp and disperse the demonstrators, one of Joey's friends is killed. Rather than return home, Joey leaves and joins other young people on the road. When he arrives in Chicago, he finds his voice as a writer and returns home, prepared for the future with renewed confidence. Recommended for all middle school libraries and synagogue collections that seek to connect the American Jewish experience to the wider realm of American history.
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