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Gideon's People
Gideon's People
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Torn between youthful rebellion and their traditional heritages, two boys from very different cultures--one Amish, one Orthodox Jew--discover just how similar they really are.
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ISBN-13: 9780152003036
ISBN-10: 0152003037
Publication Date: 7/22/1996
Pages: 297
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Harcourt
Book Type: Hardcover
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RoyalCatwoman avatar reviewed Gideon's People on + 278 more book reviews
In this novel set at the turn of the century, two boys?one Orthodox Jew and the other Amish?are brought together by chance. When Isaac Litvak, 12, is injured on an Amish farm, his Jewish peddler father leaves him behind to recuperate with the whispered reminder, "Remember who you are." Though kind and well-meaning, the foreign-speaking family's eating habits and religious laws are strange. Also, Isaac senses anger and tension. Gideon Stolzfus, 16, chafes under the rigid tenets of his family's local sect, and plans to run away to his uncle's more lenient community. His sister Annie finds his secret stash of "englische" clothes, a forbidden copy of Treasure Island, and a harmonica. She fears losing him forever and begs Isaac to help her persuade Gideon to stay. Deft characterizations and juxtaposition of fathers and sons amplify similarities and differences between the families and cultures. Gideon's stern, unyielding father illustrates the vast emotional chasm that results from a heavy-handed approach in parent/teen relations, universally, in any culture, at any time. While Isaac's faith is not tested in abusive circumstances, as it is with the Amish teen, worldly interactions complicate matters.


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