The Storyteller's Beads

The Storyteller's Beads

by Jane Kurtz
4.1 6

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The Storyteller's Beads by Jane Kurtz

Running for their lives to escape the political upheaval in Ethiopia, two young girls from different faiths form an unlikely friendship.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547351377
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/15/1998
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 222 KB
Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

About the Author

JANE KURTZ lives in Portland, Oregon. She has written more than thirty fiction and nonfiction books for children, including Lanie and Lanie's Real Adventure from the American Girl Today series, Anna Was Here, and River Friendly, River Wild, a story in verse for which she received a Golden Kite award. Visit her website at

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The Storyteller's Beads 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s. Jane Kurtz grew up in a remote village in the southwest corner of Ethiopia, although her biography does not say whether her family's being there was as missionaries, diplomats, military, charitable, Peace Corps, or what. Until 1974, people of various ethnic and religious groups, including Orthodox, Jewish, Muslims, and native religions, generally co-existed in a somewhat uneasy peace in the East African nation of Ethiopia, which basically was favorable toward the West, although prejudice and persecution did exist, especially toward the Jews (known as Beta Israel). However, in 1974, the last of a long line of 'Christian' Ethiopian emperors, Haile Selassie, was dethroned. The military committee which removed him promised better things, but by 1977 the government had turned away from the West and begun cooperating with the Soviet Union, and, as in most places where communism has been tried, things went from bad to worse. The problems were compounded during the 1980s by a war resulting from the revolt of Eritrea, a northeastern province seeking independence supported by neighboring Somalia and Sudan, and a great draught throughout the whole region. Persecution against the Jews increased. I remember reading and seeing news reports of that time period about massive air lifts by the Israeli government of Jews from Ethiopia to Israel. This book of children's fiction, drawn from true stories told by Beta Israel who emigrated to Jerusalem, tells about two girls, one a blind Beta Israel named Rahel and the other, Sahay, from the Christian Kemata ethnic group, who are fleeing to a refuge camp in Sudan. Becoming separated from their relatives, they must overcome the prejudices that each group has against the other and learn to help one another. While the author does not shrink from describing the horrors of their condition and the terrors of their journey, there is nothing in this book that is inappropriate for children. One thing that helps give them courage are the Old Testament stories that Rahel's grandmother has told her using the beads that she had given her. The book reinforces several positive lessons, such as learning forebearance with others, what it means to be a friend, and keeping hope alive in one's heart. Kurtz has written several factual books about Ethiopia, but this is her first novel.
BooksCanChangeYourLife More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, but I felt it could have been more engrossing. The characters were a bit flat but the story was interesting and well written. It's a quick and easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She made lanies doll and book a ameerican garl doll
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great it was about 2 young girls who had to leave Ethiopia. They overcome prejudices and become great friends although their relgions said to hate each other.