A Time for Angels

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Overview

Sick with influenza during the 1918 epidemic and separated from her two sisters, a young Jewish girl living in Boston relies on the help of an old German man, and her visions of angels, to get better and to reunite herself with her family.

Sick with influenza during the 1918 epidemic and separated from her two sisters, a young Jewish girl living in Boston relies on the help of an old German man, and her visions of angels, to get ...

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Overview

Sick with influenza during the 1918 epidemic and separated from her two sisters, a young Jewish girl living in Boston relies on the help of an old German man, and her visions of angels, to get better and to reunite herself with her family.

Sick with influenza during the 1918 epidemic and separated from her two sisters, a young Jewish girl living in Boston relies on the help of an old German man, and her visions of angels, to get better and to reunite herself with her family.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
This magical book tells the story of Hannah Gold, a young Russian-American Jewish girl who lives in Boston with her two sisters, her great-aunt, and a family friend during World War I. Their mother was trapped in Russia by the Bolshevik Revolution and their father enlisted in the U.S. Army. As they struggle to make ends meet, Hannah longs for the time when her parents will come back and lies awake at night waiting. On some nights, she sees angels in the sky. When a lethal flu epidemic hits Boston, Tanta Rosa and Hannah's sisters fall ill. When Tanta Rosa dies, their family friend Vashti fears for Hannah's life and sends her away. Hannah is helped at the train station by a young girl with violet eyes. After getting sick on the train, Hannah is taken to a Red Cross hospital where an elderly German man named Klaus Gerhart takes her under his wing. Through her new "Uncle" Klaus, she discovers that there are humans on all sides of the war with family just like her father. When she is well enough to travel, the young girl with violet eyes returns to take her home and Hannah realizes the girl is actually an angel. This touching novel provides a realistic glimpse of the World War I era and explores the development of relationships between friends and family in ethnically diverse neighborhoods.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9A warm, personal novel set in Boston during 1918. Hannah Gold, 14, and her two sisters live with their Tanta Rose while their parents are trapped in Russia because of the war. Although life is not easy, Tanta Rose provides for the girls as best she can. Rose's companion Vashti, however, feels that the girls are an intrusion. When the deadly influenza epidemic ravishes the city, Hannah's world is turned upside-down. Driven away by Vashti after Rose's death, the feverish young woman is guided to safety by a beautiful, ethereal girl (actually, an angel) who saved her life once before. She is nursed back to health on a Vermont farm by an old man whose strength and wisdom give her the courage to go back to Boston and to make peace with Vashti. Aspects of Jewish culture are nicely incorporated into the story, as are period details. However, some plot elements may cause confusion. The angel, portrayed as a guiding force instead of a fully developed character, interacts with Hannah on an almost subconscious level. Also, some of Hannah's actions do not seem realistic. Shortcomings aside, Hesse offers readers much to enjoy, analyze, and consider in this piece of historical fiction with a mystical bent.Tracey Kroll, Brookland Middle School, Richmond, VA
Susan Dove Lempke
Hannah and her sisters live in Boston with Tanta Rose and stern Vashti, awaiting their parents' return from a Europe embroiled in World War I. An influenza epidemic sweeps through the city, killing thousands including Tanta Rose. As Hannah is leaving town, she comes down with the flu and is helped by a mysterious girl with violet eyes. Hannah makes a slow recovery in Brattleboro, Vermont, cared for by an old farmer named Klaus, whose German heritage has made him suspect in the town. Hesse's meticulous re-creation of time and place (substantiated by an author's note) gets the novel off to a very slow start but lends an authentic feel to the story, despite some incidents that seem added merely for historical flavor. Her characters are also richly drawn, especially Klaus and Vashti, and there's a ring of truth to Hannah's being torn between her life in Vermont and her life in the city.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786806218
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Hesse lives in Vermont with her husband and two teenaged daughters. Her book OUT OF THE DUST was awarded the Newbery Medal for 1998.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2000

    i love this book

    i love this book, once i started readimg this book i couln't stop. I loved this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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