- Pub. Date:
- Texas Christian University Press
From 1900 until 1917, the Jewish population of Texas more than doubled, from 15,000 to over 31,000. Many who immigrated through the Port of Galveston had an opportunity to bypass the difficult tenement experiences of the East, but a new life in the American West offered challenges of its own. The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin is based on the experiences of those immigrants.
When twelve-year-old Max Miller immigrates to America with his mother and sister in 1912, he wants only to be together with his family and forget the old country where they were persecuted for being Jewish and where his two brothers died. The family lives above Max’s uncle’s store, and Max, on a treasured new bicycle, makes deliveries for his uncle. Not at all a typical Texan, Max likes to go to school, doesn’t know how to swim or fish and is afraid of horses, completely the opposite of Joe Hollis, the blacksmith’s son, who taunts Max about being Jewish and a greenhorn.
When his papa, a peddler, doesn’t come home for Passover, Max fears he may be a victim of an outbreak of meningitis. Max decides to ride his bicycle in search of his father, and his journey leads over flooded creeks and unfamiliar territory. Joe follows him out of town and joins him on his journey. The two boys learn to understand each other and become fast friends as they survive the perils of wilderness Texas.
The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin is filled with action and inspiring courage. Always mindful of following Jewish beliefs and customs, Max is determined to bring his father home safely and share the joy and hope of being in America.
The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin won the 1993 Sydney Taylor Award presented by the Association of Jewish Librarians.