The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey by Patricia Black-Gould – #BookReview

The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey by Patricia Black-Gould

Book Blurb:

A Star of David or a rosary? Lalka, a young girl, must reject one and accept the other without understanding why. Her mother makes a heartbreaking sacrifice to keep her daughter safe.

The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey by Pat Black-GouldPoland, 1939. It’s no longer safe for the Jews. Lalka’s mother makes the excruciating choice to teach her the ways of Catholicism and send her to a convent for safekeeping. Little Lalka doesn’t understand why her mother would give her Crystal beads (a rosary) in exchange for her prize possession, her Star of David, a special gift from her father, or why she’s learning new songs and prayers. Lalka and her mother journey to a Convent, where the brave nuns take her under their wing and continue her Catholic education. When the Nazis come looking, will the training be enough? When forced with a difficult decision, will Lalka follow her heart or follow her mother’s directions? And will it be enough to save her life?

A beautiful story of sacrifice and bravery, The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, highlights a piece of the Holocaust – the hidden children – told from the innocent perspective of a child. Readers also come to understand how people can come together, despite differences, when it really matters.

My Review:

Such a compassionate and realistic view of one of the ways in which a mother discovers how to keep her daughter safe in a treacherous and deadly time in 1939 Poland.

The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey by Pat Black-GouldLalka’s mother makes the choice to teach her seven-year-old daughter about Catholicism. It is not an easy choice to make. Before Lalka’s father died and left the two of them, he gave his daughter a Star of David—something she wore all the time—her treasure, his last gift to her.

Her mother, however, begins gently by playing a “game” with her daughter in which she exchanges the Star of David with a new necklace—that of crystal beads, a rosary. She then builds on that with prayers and songs, preparing her for the journey to a convent where the nuns will care for her and continue her education.

The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey by Pat Black-GouldLalka is left at the convent in a heartbreaking goodbye. Her mother promised to visit; and does for a while. When Sister Teresa calls Lalka to the office, Lalka is sure her mother is back but is greeted by two men who believe Lalka is a Jew. Lalka follows the instructions her mother gave her and is saved from being taken away.

The story is written for children between the ages of 5-12 years. It is beautifully illustrated with soft pastel colors and drawings that help a child to see and understand the circumstances and the wisdom given Lalka to survive. It’s a short and touching story of the Holocaust—a teachable moment—and unfortunately one that must continue.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Beautifully written and illustrated. Currently on pre-order. Recommended.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Children’s Holocaust Fiction Books, Children’s Jewish Fiction, Children’s Judaism Books
Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press
ISBN-10: ‎ 1955119201
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1955119207
Illustrator: Katya Royz
Print Length: 40 pages
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble


Pat Black-Gould, Phd - authorThe Author: Pat Black-Gould, PhD , is a clinical psychologist, author, and playwright. Her short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies.

Many years ago, Pat heard a powerful story that haunted her until she committed it to paper. The Crystal Beads was first published in Jewish Fiction. net in 2020. The short story then won first-place honors in two writing competitions conducted by the National League of American Pen Women, Inc., Washington, D.C. The first was an award by the Pen Women Florida State Association. Pat then received the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award as part of the National Biennial Letters Competition.

Pat felt it was important to bring the story to a younger audience. At that point, she rewrote it as a children’s book. She hopes that The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey will do justice to the story she once heard and carry its message to younger generations.

Pat’s writing explores topics such as compassion, tolerance, and diversity. She continues to examine these themes in her upcoming novel, Limbo of the Moon, written with her co-writer, Steve Hardiman.

In addition, Pat (under the name of Patricia Black) has published a book chapter and journal articles on Deafness and Mental Heath with co-author, Neal Glickman, PhD.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

Rosepoint #BookReviews – December Recap – Welcome to 2019!

Rosepoint Reviews - Recap - Welcome 2019

Welcome 2019 and Happy New Year to You All!

So thrilled you are here to celebrate the beginning of a new year with me and hoping yours gets off to a wonderful start with excitement for things to come.

My December, as yours, was fast and furious. I got in some great reads, however, including cozies, a children’s book, literary fiction, a domestic thriller, and a sci-fi for a total of ten book reviews, as well as a couple spotlights.

My book reviews for December:

If you missed any of my full reviews, just click the link below.

Dec 2 – A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake

Dec 4 – Violet Tendencies by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Dec 7 – The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates

Dec 9 – Tandem Demise by Duffy Brown

Dec 14- Quantum Marlowe by Glenn Lazar Roberts

Dec 16- Chasing the Blue Sky by Will Lowrey

Dec 23- The Water Tower Club by B K Mayo

Dec 25- Oh Holy Fright by Teresa Trent

Dec 28- Justice Gone by N. Lombardi, Jr 

Dec  31- Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander

I found new authors to follow and learned another lesson, that of trying a different series by the same author of a series you are not wholly thrilled with. I’ll mention Ellie Alexander, as I reviewed one of her Sloan Krause Mystery series, The Pint of No Return, and loved it. Guess I’m just not that into baking, but I know there are plenty readers out there who would love her Bakeshop Mystery series. You can’t go wrong with the children’s book, The Kooky Kids’ Club, while reading went serious (big time) with both The Water Tower Club and Justice Gone. (Raising awareness.)

If you joined a Goodreads Challenge, this is the fun time of year where they take all your stats and feed them back to you in interesting little chunks.

my year in books
According to Goodreads Stats

A Book With No Pictures by Brent Jones

Goodreads Totals Stats

(My Longest Book didn’t fare well. Most Popular was a book my associate read!)

My Shortest Book – 27 pages – by Brent Jones A Book With No Pictures

Goodreads Highest RatingHighest Rated on Goodreads – Yes, same book!

This little book really packs a punch and the success obviously acknowledged by more than myself. Take a look at your Goodreads stats. Mine have been skewed because of the contributions from my husband, which after some investigation discovered I couldn’t separate because we established one account on Amazon years ago which has now locked in our email addresses. And have you signed up for your Goodreads Challenge for 2019? Now’s the time!

Clink cocktail glassesMartini glassHere is hoping all who read and support my blog have a happy and healthy New Year! And, as always, thank you! I appreciate your participation and comments! ©2018 (signing out) V Williams V Williams

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