The Blood Lie by Shirley Reva Vernick
A Novel

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Synopsis

2012 Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book, 2012 Skipping Stone Honor Book. Lauren Myracle, author of Shine, calls it "a powerful—and poignant—reminder that no person can live freely until all people can live freely." Blood Lie was the winner of the 2012 Simon Wiesenthal Once Upon a World Children's Book Award.


September 22, 1928, Massena, New York. Jack Pool's sixteenth birthday. He's been restless lately, especially during this season of more-times-at-the-synagogue than you can shake a stick at. If it wasn't Rosh Hashanah, then it was Yom Kippur, and if it wasn't Yom Kippur, it was the Sabbath. But temple's good for some things. It gives him lots of time to daydream about a beautiful but inaccessible Gentile girl named Emaline. And if she isn't on his mind, then he's thinking about his music and imagining himself playing the cello with the New York Philharmonic. Yup, music is definitely his ticket out of this remote whistle-stop town—he doesn't want to be stuck here one more minute. But he doesn't realize exactly how stuck he is until Emaline's little sister Daisy goes missing and he and his family are accused of killing her for a blood sacrifice.


Blood Lie was inspired by a real blood libel that took place when a small girl disappeared from Massena, New York, in 1928, and an innocent Jewish boy was called a murderer.

"Vernick’s novel is a scathing indictment of anti-Semitism…it is an important book that reminds us of the imperative need to remember lest we find ourselves repeating the horrors of the past."
—Booklist

"Effectively mines layers of ignorance, fear, intolerance and manipulation."
—Kirkus Reviews

Shirley Reva Vernick's interviews and feature articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, and national newspapers. She also runs a popular storytelling website, storybee.org, which is used in schools and libraries all over the world. Shirley grew up in the town where the blood libel happened, as did her father, whose family was directly victimized by it.

 

About Shirley Reva Vernick

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Shirley Reva Vernick's interviews and feature articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, national newspapers , and the publications of Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Boston Universities. She also runs a popular storytelling website, storybee.org, which is used in schools, libraries, hospitals and homes all over the world. Shirley graduated from Cornell University, majoring in economics and nutrition, and is an alumna of the Radcliffe Writing Seminars. Her first novel, The Blood Lie, won the Simon Wiesenthal Once Upon a World Children's Book Award; was a Skipping Stone Honor Book; won the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction, Directors Mention; was the silver medalist for the Sydney Taylor Book Award; and was listed by the ALA for the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults. She lives in Amherst, Massachussetts.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Cinco Puntos Press. 145 pages
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, History, Religion & Spirituality, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Blood Lie

Kirkus Reviews

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Based on an actual incident in Massena in 1928, the slim novel effectively mines layers of ignorance, fear, intolerance and manipulation, and it connects the incident to Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic writing and to the lynching of Jewish businessman Leo Frank in 1915.

| Read Full Review of The Blood Lie: A Novel

Examiner

She captures a teenager's reluctance to go to temple, his forbidden feelings for a girl of a different religion, and his desire to escape the stultifying small town to study in a larger, more cosmopolitan (well, compared to Massena) town.

Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Blood Lie: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Inspired by true events that affected debut novelist Vernick's relatives, this historical drama tackles the weighty issue of anti-Semitism with uncompromising clarity.

Nov 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Blood Lie: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

But he doesn't realize exactly how stuck he is until Emaline's little sister Daisy goes missing and he and his family are accused of killing her for a blood sacrifice.
Blood Lie was inspired by a real blood libel that took place when a small girl disappeared from Massena, New Yor...

Nov 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Blood Lie: A Novel

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