The Storyteller's Beads by Jane Kurtz

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Running for their lives to escape the political upheaval in Ethiopia, two young girls from different faiths form an unlikely friendship.

About Jane Kurtz

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Jane Kurtz is a highly acclaimed author of books for young readers. Her picture books include "Fire on the Mountain, " an honor book for the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award, and "River Friendly, River Wild, " winner of the Golden Kite Award for picture book text. Christopher Kurtz previously collaborated with his sister, Jane, on "Only a Pigeon, " which won a Parents' Choice Gold Award and an African Studies Association Award. Jane and Christopher spent part of their childhoods in a remote village in Ethiopia. Christopher returned to Ethiopia to teach as an adult and spent many hours with monkeys at the Awash National Park. Jane visited the water hole at Treetops, Kenya, while working on this story. Jane Kurtz lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Christopher Kurtz lives in Portland, Oregon.
Published April 15, 1998 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 165 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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One of the Kemant people, Sahay fears the evil eye of the “Falasha.” Alternating chapters introduce Rahel, a blind Beta-Israel girl who dislikes being called a Falasha, and who summons all her courage to convince her family to include her beloved grandmother on the journey they must undertake.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set in the mid-1980s, a time when Ethiopia is hard-hit by drought and political strife, Kurtz's (Trouble) eye-opening novel charts the converging paths of two young natives fleeing from their country.

Apr 13 1998 | Read Full Review of The Storyteller's Beads

Publishers Weekly

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When soldiers force Sahay's uncle and Rahel's brother to turn back, Sahay experiences her first pang of pity for the ""blind Falasha"" girl and offers to be her guide.

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