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Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules people live by are determined by an ancient script written thousands of years ago -- and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns that her best friend has suffered abuse at the hands of a family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe. This nuanced exploration of a complex world -- one of humor, understanding, and horror -- illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality.

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"Family and social life within today's Chassidic community are portrayed with affection for the warmth and the enduring values but with a clear eye for the vulnerability of the young and the hurt. When Gittel finally does try to tell her friend's story, she comes up against the powerful men of the community. It is fitting that it is through the written word that both Gittel and the author are able to speak for the Devorys of the world." -- School Library Journal

"Taken from an incident in her own life, Chayil’s cri de coeur might as easily have been published as an adult book. She does, however, have a wonderful way of getting inside a child’s head. Readers may have trouble with the story’s frequent Yiddish phrases and be shocked by its casual fear and hatred of 'goyland.' But this is powerful stuff and a glimpse into places not often seen." -- Booklist

Product Details

Recommended Age 13 and up
Author Eishes Chayil, Judy Brown
ISBN 0802723322
Publication Date Feb 28, 2012
Publisher Walker Childrens
Award Winners National Book Finalist
Language English