Return

( 4 )

Overview

Fifteen-year-old Desta belongs to a small, isolated mountain community of Ethiopian Jews. She and her brother and sister leave their aunt and uncle and set out on the long and dangerous trip to freedom -- an airlift from the Sudan to Israel, the Promised Land. They travel barefoot, facing hunger, thirst and bandits. "Vivid and compelling...Levitin's tour de force is sensitively written." BOOKLIST. An ALA 1987 Best Book for Young Adults.

Desta and the other members of...

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Overview

Fifteen-year-old Desta belongs to a small, isolated mountain community of Ethiopian Jews. She and her brother and sister leave their aunt and uncle and set out on the long and dangerous trip to freedom -- an airlift from the Sudan to Israel, the Promised Land. They travel barefoot, facing hunger, thirst and bandits. "Vivid and compelling...Levitin's tour de force is sensitively written." BOOKLIST. An ALA 1987 Best Book for Young Adults.

Desta and the other members of her Falasha family, Jews suffering from discrimination in Ethiopia, finally flee the country and attempt the dangerous journey to Israel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Levitin's book is a glorious, heartrending account of Operation Moses, the airlift of Ethiopian Jews from the Sudan into Israel, as seen through the eyes of Desta, 12. Desta's family belongs to a small community of Jews in dire poverty, isolated in the mountains and terrorized by Ethiopia's communist regime. A dream foretells the arrival of other Jews promising freedom in Israel; subsequently Desta's older brother, along with her betrothed, Dan, and his family, are chosen to travel to the Sudan, where they will be flown to Israel. The journey becomes a nightmare for them all. This book will remind readers that there are thousands of children in the world who spend each day in jeopardy. The story ends with Desta and Almaz healing in Jerusalem, but there is a last note that the airlift was stopped, and that many Jews remain trapped in Ethiopia. Ages 10-up. (April)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Between November, 1984, and January, 1985, a secret airlift dubbed ``Operation Moses'' flew hundreds of refugee Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Levitin's novel tells of how increased religious persecution, forced conscription, and an unwanted arranged marriage drove two young people and their nine-year-old sister to undertake the hazardous journey from their Ethiopian village to an overcrowded refugee camp in Sudan for a chance at a new life in Israel. It is an old-fashioned survival story narrated by a contemporary heroine who is torn between her love for her country and family and the knowledge that home means fear, deprivation, and maybe an early death for her older brother. Tragedy and triumph are interwoven in this rather formally told and sometimes brutally realistic tale that focuses on a people and a culture that is rapidly disappearing. Unfamiliar Amharic and Hebrew terms are made clear in context. A one-page bibliography of adult material is provided for motivated readers. The adventure of the exodus is totally absorbing, and the emotional impact is strong. Amy Kellman, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449702802
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/1988
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 181
  • Sales rank: 614,426
  • Age range: 12 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.89 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2001

    The Return

    I gave the book 'The Return' four out of four stars because I liked the way it was written. Sonia Levitin wrote this book as though she eas actually there,experencing and seeing these things happening. The other reason why I liked this book is because Desta was a different type of girl. Shespoke her mind, and asked questions which was unheard of for a girl or woman at the time. At times throughout the story I felt bad for her. Some of them were, when her brother was killed and she had to bury him; when she wasn't sure if she would reach the Kess and his traveling group, or if she would ever reach Jerusalem at all. In the book Desta was an Ethiopian-Jew who hardly had any rights at all. She and the other Ethiopian-Jews were facing racism and prejudice where they lived. the other neighboring villages wanted nothing to do with them, because they thought they were evil. the non-Ethiopian-Jews would yell racial slurs at them, calling them budas and falashcas just to name a few. Racism is something that is pervading our world, making it dirty and we need to clean it up. I know some people have encountered some form of racism in their life, so they can relate. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about peoples' triumphs; and I would invite those of different religious backgrounds to read this book because it just hits that spot in your heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2001

    Return

    Espicially if u are Jewish, I strongly recommend this book! Amazing book with love, hatrid, and excitement. Very locial and makes you feel like you are watching Desta the whole way through. If I could, I give 6 stars to average to 5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2001

    Return

    The Return by Sonia Levintin is a compelling, moving account from the viewpoint of a Jewish African Ethiopian teenager. The government and citizens discriminate against the Jews, call them ¿Falasha,¿ an Ethiopian word for stranger, and blame things such as droughts and floods on them. When two white Americans come to see if African Jews really exist in the world, they hear of a land called Israel. The tribe believes --- wants them to come to Israel, however, there is dispute if these foreigners speak the truth. Also, the government does not allow migration out of Ethiopia. There are soldiers and bandits who will kill and rob them. The village Rabbi finally decides to have the village leave. But a day before departure, soldiers show up at the village. The desert terrain is hostile and the soldiers and bandits merciless. The Return is unpredictable and exciting. It is definitely a book I would enjoy a second time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2000

    The Return: A Great Book

    I read this book for my English class...It was great! This is an interesting book that combines a strong plot and great story with true journeys made by real people. 'The Return' shows the struggles an independent girl has to go through for freedom and a better life.

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