The Way Back
The Way Back
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Annotation: NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST Perfect for readers of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, a sweeping historical fantasy that f... more
Catalog Number: #253785
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 360 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-9848946-3-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-9848946-3-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019048811
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A Jewish boy and girl journey to the Far Country on the other side of the cemetery seeking to find that which they lost.The story begins in a shtetl called Tupik, where a boy named Yehuda Leib and a girl named Bluma each have unexpected encounters with Death, setting them both on separate journeys through the cemetery on the edge of the village and into the Far Country, seeking the House of Death to reclaim what they lost. On their way, they pass through the town of Zubinsk, where the holy Rebbe’s granddaughter is about to be married in a highly anticipated wedding that draws not only Hasidim and visitors from all over, but also all manner of demons and spirits seeking an audience with the revered Rebbe. Bluma’s and Yehuda Leib’s winding paths cross until they finally band together to defeat their mutual foe with the help of some unlikely allies they meet along the way. Though their cleverness, grit, and dastardly alliances may get them far in the Far Country, they may not ultimately be enough to defeat Death itself. Lyrical and fantastic, this richly layered yarn is liberally sprinkled with bits of Yiddish and a wry, sparkling humor that balances its darker tendencies with sympathy and warmth.Steeped in the rich traditions of ghost stories and Jewish folklore, this remarkable feat of storytelling is sure to delight. (Fantasy. 13-adult)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up From the moment a girl leaves her cottage to gather strawberries at the far side of the forest, Savit sets a dark fairy tale tone. Readers fast forward to meet Bluma, the teenage granddaughter of the berry collector, and Yehuda Leib, a poor and scrappy village neighbor of Bluma's age. Told from alternating viewpoints, and incorporating language and elements from Jewish folk tradition, Bluma and Yehuda Leib begin separate adventureseventually crossing paths on the outskirts of their shtetl of Tupik in a cemetery where "the living world wears thin," and both Bluma and Yehuda Leib cross over into the Far Country. Dark messengers, the Master of Whispers, Lilith, and the Sisters of Lileen inhabit this magical realm. Bluma brings with her a magical spoon, dropped by the Dark Messenger when he took her grandmother, which allows her to see events in altered time. Yehuda Leib enters and encounters the Treasure House of Lord Mammon, who eats a tiny man as a snack, and enlists Yehuda Leib's help in a plot for more power. As they unite over chicken soup in an old hut, with a double-edged dagger at hand, Bluma and Yehuda Leib realize that death comes for everyone in its own time, but need not be faced alone. VERDICT An entrancing historical fantasy, thick with elements of magic and folk tales. Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A Jewish boy and girl journey to the Far Country on the other side of the cemetery seeking to find that which they lost.The story begins in a shtetl called Tupik, where a boy named Yehuda Leib and a girl named Bluma each have unexpected encounters with Death, setting them both on separate journeys through the cemetery on the edge of the village and into the Far Country, seeking the House of Death to reclaim what they lost. On their way, they pass through the town of Zubinsk, where the holy Rebbe’s granddaughter is about to be married in a highly anticipated wedding that draws not only Hasidim and visitors from all over, but also all manner of demons and spirits seeking an audience with the revered Rebbe. Bluma’s and Yehuda Leib’s winding paths cross until they finally band together to defeat their mutual foe with the help of some unlikely allies they meet along the way. Though their cleverness, grit, and dastardly alliances may get them far in the Far Country, they may not ultimately be enough to defeat Death itself. Lyrical and fantastic, this richly layered yarn is liberally sprinkled with bits of Yiddish and a wry, sparkling humor that balances its darker tendencies with sympathy and warmth.Steeped in the rich traditions of ghost stories and Jewish folklore, this remarkable feat of storytelling is sure to delight. (Fantasy. 13-adult)
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Starred Review ALA Booklist
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Lexile: 840L

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

Perfect for readers of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, a sweeping historical fantasy that follows two teens on a journey through the Far Country, a Jewish land of spirits and demons.


For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of midnight, congregating in the trees, harrowing the dead, even reaching out to try and steal away the living.

But the demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. When the Angel of Death comes strolling through the little shtetl of Tupik one night, two young people will be sent spinning off on a journey through the Far Country. There they will make pacts with ancient demons, declare war on Death himself, and maybe-- just maybe--find a way to make it back alive.

Drawing inspiration from the Jewish folk tradition, The Way Back is a dark adventure sure to captivate readers of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust.


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