cover image Hannah’s Way

Hannah’s Way

Linda Glaser, illus. by Adam Gustavson. Kar-Ben, $7.95 trade paper (24p) ISBN 978-0-7613-5138-2

Hannah is eager to fit into her new school. It’s the Depression, and her family has relocated from Minneapolis to rural Minnesota. She is the only Jewish girl in her class, and her family is the only Jewish family in the community. Glaser (Emma’s Poem) delves into the girl’s dilemma: there’s a class picnic on Saturday, the perfect opportunity to build friendships, and the teacher is arranging carpools for it, but Hannah’s not allowed to ride in a car on the Sabbath. She frets that no one will understand her problem. “If only she weren’t so far away from all her friends,” Hannah thinks. In Minneapolis, they would have understood the situation. She dreads the moment when she has to speak up. However, when she finally tells her teacher, a surprising solution presents itself. This is a sweet story, based on fact, of a community accepting a stranger with a different religion. Illustrations by Gustavson (Good Luck, Mrs. K.) in shadowy greens, browns, and purples lend a period feel to the story, and his painterly use of texture and light deftly depicts his character’s emotions. Ages 5–9. (Mar.)