Jewish Values: Broken Strings

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282 p.
In the months following 9/11, Shirli’s junior high school produces Fiddler on the Roof. A search for props in her Zayde’s attic brings up questions about her family’s past; Zayde’s mother went through similar events to those portrayed in Fiddler, and Zayde himself is a Holocaust survivor. He is so reluctant to talk or think about those memories that he avoids all music because of the associations they hold for him from that time; his violin sits untouched in the attic. Shirli’s work on the play gradually brings up opportunities, some more welcome than others, for Zayde to face his difficult past, as each becomes aware of the other’s musical talent. Information about several painful periods in history is gently delivered and clearly explained, making this earnest but honest novel a good choice for readers who are new to some of the subject matter.
Sydney Taylor Winner: