Cry of the Giraffe by Judie Oron

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In the early 1980s, thousands of Ethiopian Jews fled the civil unrest, famine and religious persecution of their native land in the hopes of being reunited in Yerusalem, their spiritual homeland, with its promises of a better life. Wuditu and her family risk their lives to make this journey, which leads them to a refugee camp in Sudan, where they are separated. Terrified, 15-year-old Wuditu must return to Ethiopia alone.

“Don’t give up, Wuditu! Be strong!” The words of her little sister come to Wuditu in a dream and give her the courage to keep going. Wuditu must find someone to give her food and shelter or she will surely die. Finally Wuditu is offered a solution: working as a servant. However, she quickly realizes that she has become a slave. With nowhere else to go, she stays — until the villagers discover that she is a falasha, a hated Jew. Only her dream of one day being reunited with her family gives her strength — until the arrival of a stranger heralds hope and a new life in Israel.

Based on real events, Wuditu’s story mirrors the experiences of thousands of Ethiopian Jews.

About Judie Oron

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Judie Oron, a journalist, risked her life to save Wuditu from Ethiopia and take her to safety in Israel, where she still lives today. Judie Oron lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Published August 1, 2010 by Annick Press. 208 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Turning the experiences of her adopted daughter into a fictionalized memoir, a Canadian journalist takes readers back to the vicious anti-Semitism and civil war that led to an exodus of Ethiopia’s indigenous Jewish community in the 1980s.

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