A Star of David necklace or a rosary?
Lalka, a young girl, must reject one of these and accept the other without understanding why. Lalka is confused as to why her mother gives her crystal beads (a rosary) in exchange for her most prized possession—her Star of David necklace, a precious gift given to her by her father before he died.
But the year is 1939 and Lalka's mother knows Poland is no longer safe for Jews. So with the help of her neighbor, she teaches her daughter new songs and prayers. When she feels the child is ready, the mother makes the heartbreaking decision to leave the little girl at a convent where the brave nuns take the child under their wing and continue her Catholic education. But when the Nazis question her, will the training be enough? When forced with a difficult decision, will Lalka follow her heart or follow her mother's directions? And will her choice be enough to save her life?
This beautifully illustrated Gold Medal award-winning book is inspired by a true story and told from a child's perspective. The story is one of sacrifice and bravery and highlights the hidden children of the Holocaust. Readers will witness how people can come together, despite differences, when it really matters.
Although a children's book, The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey, is designed for ages 7 to adults.
It contains two study guides One is for children, parents, and teachers. The other is for adults who may gather in places of worship, book clubs, and small groups. Discussion topics include themes of compassion, empathy, and diversity.