The Return

The Return

  • Hardback
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A moving novel about the plight of the Falasha Jews in Ethiopia, and of the long journey made by two children across the desert to a refugee camp in the Sudan.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 221 pages
  • 140 x 220mm | 407g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0192716743
  • 9780192716743

Review Text

A fictionalized, first-person account of Operation Moses, the secret rescue of Ethiopian Jews between November 1984 and January 1985. One of 18,000 black Ethopian Jews, or Falashas, descended from the Queen of Sheba, Desta first denies the many reasons why she should leave her aunt and uncle to make the dangerous journey to Israel but finally agrees to accompany her brother and younger sister. When her brother is killed by bandits, Desta leads her sister onward, facing hunger, thirst, bugs, desert heat, and persecution. Walking barefoot, and only at night, the two girls are reunited with fellow villagers and illegally cross the border to wait in a Sudanese refugee camp. There, one night, they are secretly airlifted to Israel, where they attend school and pray at the Western Wall of Jerusalem for the return of other Falashas. Although readers must orient themselves to many Amharic words used in context and to political and religious details, those who persevere will be rewarded with a satisfying, enriching story. Booktalking material abounds, a sure way to introduce this contemporary heroine to readers. (Kirkus Reviews)
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