What they're saying...

"Heartbreaking and poignant with a touching, positive conclusion." - Kirkus Reviews
"Gripping." - Booklist

WULF, Linda Press. The Night of the Burning: Devorah’s Story. 208p. glossary. CIP. Farrar. 2006. Tr $16. ISBN 0-374-36419-2. LC 2005052113. Gr  5-8
This first-person narrative is an insightful exploration of the effects of traumatic experiences, and an ultimately
hopeful portrait of a young girl. In 1920 Devorah, 11, and her younger sister are the sole Jewish survivors of
their Polish village after a pogrom. Protecting Nechama, and remembering their family and heritage, becomes
the purpose of Devorah’s life. Then Mr. Ochberg arrives at the orphanage and invites them to join other children
on a voyage to a new life in Cape Town, South Africa. Nechama insists that she will go, so her sister goes, too.
When Nechama is adopted by a wealthy family, Devorah is devastated to be separated from her. Her own adoption
by a less wealthy and emotionally restrained couple takes her on a difficult journey toward acceptance of her new life.
The historical background in both countries is well portrayed, and Wulf does a masterful job of showing the complexity
of relationships among religious and ethnic groups in both societies. The relationships between the protagonist, her
adoptive parents, and their domestic worker are particularly well realized. However, the light that shines through this
book is the carefully imagined and described process of painful but ultimately positive personal growth that Devorah
experiences. An account of the real Devorah’s life after the events in the novel and a historical note are appended.
Children searching for a place in the world and wondering about the experiences of others in situations of conflict and
violence will take this story to their hearts.
Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City