Thirteen-year-old Jacob’s life is hard in 1920s Poland, where he lives in an orphanage for Jewish children. His days are brightened by playing in the orphanage mandolin orchestra. When an American benefactor arrives with the promise of a new life in Canada at a farm school, Jacob and his friends are thrilled. But can they trust this man to keep his promises?
The children travel by train and by ship, facing illness and prejudice along the way. where a stowaway becomes dangerously sick. Jacob, who has become the orchestra’s star player, must overcome his fears and doubts to help his friends and to fulfill his dream to one day play at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City. Inspired by real events.
Anne Dublin is a former teacher-librarian and award-winning author living in Toronto. She has written two biographies for Second Story Press: June Callwood: A Life of Action and Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Everything, as well as Dynamic Women Dancers, part of the Women’s Hall of Fame Series. She has also written the children’s historical fiction novel The Orphan Rescue.
“A well-told account based on a lesser-known story of Jewish immigration.” — Kirkus
“As a former teacher-librarian, Dublin knows her audience and it shows; her use of description and dialogue to build character and setting is sure to engage readers. … Jacob is a character readers ought to meet.” — School Library Journal
“The story is rich with detail, and Dublin does an excellent job of painting a picture from a child’s lens of how tough a journey it would have been.” — CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“A well-written historical novel about a unique event in Jewish history that belongs in any library collection.” — The Association of Jewish Libraries