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Jason, a ...
Jason, a nine-year-old Jewish boy, pursues his dream of becoming a great violinist even as he deals with disappointments and deaths of loved ones.
Zalben (Goldie's Purim, 1991, etc.) keeps sentimentality to a minimum; this is less a story about AIDS and death than it is a story of a decent, caring boy facing mindless hatred for the very first time. The tragedy is kept mostly offstage, and the most terrible, heartbreaking moment involves the destruction of an object instead of a deathbed scene. Although the event doesn't come as much of a surprise, few will remain unmoved, for Zalben's gift, in simple, unobtrusive writing, is to make readers feel what Jason feels. At the end, what they'll feel is hope.
Posted November 17, 2002
Posted June 10, 2010
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