Two girls become amazing friends
Submitted 3/1/2015 by Design Team
By Annabel, 9, IL Design Team
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 “alien 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.