Sarah's Stars

Tina Grimberg. Out of Line: Growing Up Soviet
Tundra Books  $24.99  ISBN 978-0-88776-803-3 128 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 15

The bus stopped at Stretskaya Street. We got out. Babushka didnít see the second attack coming any more than she noticed the first one. This time, it came from me. My cheeks burning and my voice trembling, I said, `Babushka, donít ever speak Yiddish outside again! It makes me embarrassed.Ē

The story of Baba Tinaís life and her familyís hardships during the Soviet rule will captivate you from the start. Sad stories, shamed public embarrassment and above all, undying compassion for family. A Jewish family, in the motherland known as Russia, is looked down upon, even though World War II is over. To speak Yiddish, to celebrate any Jewish holiday is frowned upon. As they struggle to live happy lives, things seem to be getting harder and harder.

The love that the people in this story had for each other was told very well. I could feel the passion they felt for one another within the family. Every one took care of everyone else. This nonfiction biography is a little slow. I wasnít totally pulled in, but the emotions ran thick throughout the entire book and the reader can feel the way the author poured her heart into the words. She also includes small photos of family and friends. They make the reader realize that the story actually happened. Out of Line is not fictional, but a monument of the past.

I would recommend this book for people twelve years old and up. It takes an attentive reader, and there is some mild language to look out for. You can easily find yourself wanting to meet the people in the story; I know I did.

I give Out of Line four heart-felt stars! I really felt the emotion that was so obviously woven between the lines.  

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