Cover image for ...too far from home
Title:
...too far from home
Uniform Title:
Rainbow child
ISBN:
9781541546714

9781541546738
Edition:
1st U.S. ed.
Physical Description:
90 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
General Note:
First published as Rainbow child in 2000.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Summary:
Eleven-year-old Meskerm, half-Ethiopian and half-American, faces prejudice when she enters a new school just as Israel is coping with a large influx of new immigrants from Ethiopia.
Holds:

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Summary

Summary

"There's an Ethiopian; there's an Ethiopian!" I heard them shouting. I looked behind me, but I couldn't see any Ethiopian. Children began crowding round me, and I still didn't realize that they meant me, I was the Ethiopian.

Meskerem was born in a small town called Kazerin in the Golan Heights of Israel, to an Ethiopian mother and an American father. Soon after Operation Solomon, when several thousand Ethiopian immigrants were brought to Israel, Meskerem's parents decided to move to the center of the country, to the town of Herzelia, where Meskerem comes face-to-face with the ignorance and prejudices of her new classmates, who are meeting someone dark-skinned for the first time. Her experiences, coming on the brink of adolescence, force her to confront her mixed identity. With the help of her Ethiopian grandmother, who remained in Kazerin, Meskerem learns to come to terms with who she is and find strength in belonging to three different cultures.


Reviews 1

Kirkus Review

A biracial girl encounters racism when she and her family move to a new city in Israel. Meskerem and her little sisters were all born in Israel. She has always been proud of her loving, interracial Jewish family and of her mixed Ethiopian American heritage. But on the first day at her new school her classmates taunt her because of her color and their assumption that she is a newly arrived Ethiopian immigrant--so she claims to be American. There are further bullying incidents, and Meskerem is miserable, confused, and angry. She withdraws from her parents, but her grandmother gives her a better understanding of the danger-filled struggles of Ethiopian Jews to reach asylum in Israel, with her parents filling in additional details. When she shares this information in a school project, there's a hopeful, if facile, outcome. Despite these expository opportunities, this Israeli import lacks context for North American readers unfamiliar with Operation Solomon and the concept of making aliyah, and there is no backmatter supplement. Meskerem narrates her own story, never exceeding her child's understanding of events. While Shmuel provides a hopeful vision of acceptance and friendship, the author bio reveals that the story is based in part on the experiences of her own biracial (Ethiopian/Israeli) children. Katz's softly drawn illustrations add depth and detail. Readers will respond to this portrait of a proud, loving family in a difficult situation. (Fiction. 9-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.