The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and Her Music
The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and Her Music
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Series: Kar-Ben Favorites   

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Annotation: When Flory's ancestors are forced to leave Spain during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, they take with them their two most precious possessions--the key to their old house and the Ladino language.
Catalog Number: #186912
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Kar-Ben
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Wimmer, Sonja,
Pages: 32
Availability: Out of Print
ISBN: 1-541-52218-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-541-52218-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018032671
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When the Altaras family leaves Spain following the Inquisition, they carry a key to their old house and Ladino, the spoken language of Sephardic Jews. In 1923, a girl named Flory is born into the Altaras family in Bosnia. She loves Ladino, music, and the harmoniku (accordion) given to her by her nona. In 1941, Flory must flee the Nazis, and playing music keeps her from being unmasked as a Jew. Later, she immigrates to America as a war bride, sharing music and Ladino with all. Levy's succinct text conveys the highlights of Jagoda's life as well as her love of the folk music that is central to Ladino culture. Wimmer's artwork utilizes maps, dates, and other imagery to convey a sense of the many time periods and places depicted. She also works Ladino words and phrases into her art, using strategic placement to ensure readers will grasp the meanings. With further information about Jagoda and links to her performances, this is a worthy (though fictionalized) homage to a language and its fervent promoter.
Kirkus Reviews
Immigrant musician Flory Jagoda preserved a repertoire of Ladino and Sephardic songs learned from her Bosnian Jewish family.A descendant of the Altaras family forced to leave Spain during the Inquisition, Flory and her family must now escape from the Balkans during World War II. Crucial to the story of the Altaras' 16th-century exodus are the two symbols of their heritage: a key for their original home in Spain and Ladino, the traditional language of Spanish Jews. In the 20th century, Flory's childhood is filled with the stories Nona tells about their ancestors and the music played and sung in Ladino by her talented family. Living in peace and harmony among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, their happy life is threatened as the perils of World War II approach. Fortunate to escape the death the rest of her family suffers, Flory eventually sails to the U.S. without the important key but with her own three significant symbols: her accordion, her Ladino, and her music. Levy gently weaves the history of the Sephardim into the story of Flory's specific Balkan Jewish life, also blending in some italicized Ladino phrases and words (rendering "grandfather" as "Nonu" rather than the traditional "Nono"). Lovely mixed-media illustrations limn several scenes across the centuries, adding perspective to an element of Sephardic culture that is mostly unknown today in American Jewish circles.Based on a true story, an inspirational reclamation of history. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review
ALA Booklist (7/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 936
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 503380 / grade: Lower Grades

When Flory's ancestors are forced to leave Spain during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, they take with them their two most precious possessions--the key to their old house and the Ladino language. When Flory flees Europe during World War II to begin a new life in the United States, she carries Ladino with her, along with her other precious possessions--her harmoniku and her music. But what of the key? Discover the story of Ladino singer Flory Jagoda.


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