Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-23
- Reviewer: Staff
This story unfolds not in the American west but in Argentina during the early 20th century. Jacob and his family have emigrated from a Russian shtetl to a farm in the pampas, where he befriends Benito, a young gaucho. The story that ensues is typical for this minigenre: Jacob invites Benito to his familys Passover seder, but receives an equivocal response; a mild, semicomic calamity erupts at the moment of Elijahs arrival, which is expertly resolved by Benito, who has decided to attend (You know, we struggled for our freedom, too, here in Argentina, he notes). Goldins (Cakes and Miracles) earnest writing propels the action, but its Capaldis (Red Bird Sings) sun-infused watercolors that make the story sing. She lyrically evokes the sense of new possibilities on the wide-open Argentinian plains, the exhilaration of feeling safe and free, and the coming together of two different cultures. Ages 48. (Feb.)