Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pickled Watermelon

Schacter, Esty. Pickled Watermelon
August 1st 2018 by Kar-Ben Publishing
Public library copy from Bexley Public Library

Molly's family is heading to Israel for her uncle's wedding in 1986, and she's a bit apprehensive. She wants to meet her grandmother and grandfather, but is worried that spending a month is a foreign country where not everyone speaks English will be difficult. Her younger brother Ben is a bit more excited. Once there, however, she manages to talk to her grandparents a bit, gets used to salad for breakfast and the big meal at lunch time, and is happy to meet her cousins and aunt on their kibbutz and learn about this style of living. She also finds out more about how her parents met when they were both at university, and how the family came to live in the US rather than Israel. In the end, Molly enjoys her stay and is looking forward to sharing the details with her other grandmother.
Strengths: Like Grace Lin's Dumpling Days , Narsimhan's Mission Mumbaior Lai's Listen, Slowly, this is a great story about visiting family in another country. The food, the different ways of doing things, and the reconnecting with relatives is something many students enjoy, even when they spend a lot of time with local relatives. I am fascinated by the idea of a kibbutz-- it makes so much sense, yet is so totally foreign to the US way of thinking. This was a short, interesting read.
Weaknesses: I wish this one had been longer! I would have loved more details of Molly's life in the US, and more details about Israel! Also, for some reason, I had thought this was a graphic novel. It was not.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. It was a short, easy read, and great for students who are interested in Jewish culture. Now I want to go and reread my copy of Sally Watson's Other Sandals (1966)!
Ms. Yingling

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