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Sahay and Rahel are all alone, traveling through strange and dangerous territory in Ethiopia, trying to reach Jerusalem. They are both brave, but is bravery enough to survive?
Ages 11+
Pages 160
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Coming Dec 2020

Average Rating

43 Reviews

Featured Reviews

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Two girls become amazing friends

Review by Annabel

The Storyteller's Beads, written by Jane Kurtz, starts out in Ethiopia after the Red Terror, which is when Mengistu Haile Mariam killed Ethiopians in 1977-1978. Then two little Ethiopian girls, Rahel and Sahay, travel to a camp (not a summer camp) called Umm Rekuba, where they get food and water. Both girls are there without their families, and together they take an iron bird (plane) to Jerusalem. This book is about the two girls, who initially seem very different from one another. Rahel is a blind Falasha girl and Sahay is a Kemant. Falasha means stranger. Kemants are one of the ethnic divisions of the Agau people. The two groups didn't have much to do with one another back in Ethiopia, but the girls become friends during their journey. During their long walk through the deserts and forests of Ethiopia and Sudan, they start telling each other stories about their lives and the folktales of their people. They find they need each other once they both lose their families. At the end, they make aliyah together. Along the way, the girls change the way they think about other people, and learn not to judge others based on the tribe or people they come from. People should be looked at as individuals and not just as members of their family, tribe, or country. In my own life, I will always try to remember Rahel and Sahay, and how they found an amazing friendship amidst such turmoil in their lives. They lost their homes, families, and country, but they still found a way to find friendship and start a new life in Jerusalem.

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The Storyteller's Beads

Video review by Abby

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The Storyteller's Beads
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The Storyteller's Beads

Video review by Hadar

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The Storyteller's Beads

Reader Reviews

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cool, but some of it scary.

Review by Rose0106

I liked that they would travel to mysterious places, and that they were from Africa, but it scared me when some people were killed. I would like a book with no murder.

May 02, 2021 06:20 PM
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pretty neat

Review by Rose0106

I like that it is adventurous. But, I don't like when some children tried to hurt Sahay.

Apr 05, 2021 11:13 PM
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good read

Review by madselizabeth

but the story seems beneath my reading level

Apr 04, 2021 04:51 PM
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amazing

Review by Eduardotheweinderdog

If you like immigrant stories you will like this book. It’s about 2 girls who are trying to get out of Ethiopia ( I think) and into Jerusalem. I learned about some stuff in other cultures. You should definitely read it.

Apr 03, 2021 08:00 AM
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Really interesting story

Review by JKPanda

Love it!

Apr 02, 2021 08:21 AM