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The Blood Lie

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3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  37 reviews

September 22, 1928, Massena, New York. Jack Pool's sixteenth birthday. He's been restless lately, especially during this season of more-times-at-the-synagogue than you can shake a stick at. If it wasn't Rosh Hashanah, then it was Yom Kippur, and if it wasn't Yom Kippur, it was the Sabbath. But temple's good for some things. It gives him lots of time to daydream about a bea

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Hardcover, 141 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Cinco Puntos Press (first published September 1st 2011)
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Ricki
Jack has a crush on Emaline, a gentile. He knows their romance can never develop because he is Jewish, and their relationship would be unacceptable in 1928. The unthinkable happens when Emaline's younger sister, Daisy, goes missing--Jack is blamed for her disappearance.

This short novel shows the hatred and anti-semitism that existed in the 1920s. Based on a true story, this novel will teach young people what it means to hate, and more importantly, what it means to forgive.
Adam
(If you don't want to see any spoilers, stop reading after "The conclusion is good.")

I feel like Shirley Vernick's first novel deserves more than the three stars I'm giving her, I would have chosen three and a half if Goodreads allowed. The selling point of the story, especially from the point of view of a teacher, is the thematic elements.

In an era of ever-growing attention to bullying and bigotry, this novel puts forth the story of a Jewish boy who is accused of murder by the people in his to...more
Sara Latta

It’s September 22, 1928, and sixteen-year-old Jack Pool is itching to leave his small town in upstate New York. A talented cellist, he has an audition at the Bentley School of Music in three days. Acceptance to the elite boarding school will be his ticket out of Massena. It will also mean leaving behind the girl that he knows he can never have: Jack is Jewish, and Emaline Durham is Christian.
In the opening pages of “The Blood Lie: A Novel,” by Shirley Reva Vernick (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011), we...more
Erin
I appreciated a number of things about this book. First and foremost is that this story was based on a true story, one that I had never heard of and I always love historical fiction that makes me want to research. Shirley Vernick is from the town that the book is set in, and you can definitely tell that thanks to the details she's presented. The conversations between secondary characters felt very authentic. It is a short book (more on that later) and because of that, I think it would fit in rea...more
Nick Purvis
"The Blood Lie" is about a four year old girl that has gone missing in the small town of Massena, New York. The community blamed Jack Pool, the main character, and the whole Jewish community. The people of Massena, plus the police department, believed this rumor, they also believed the reason they kidnapped her was because she was the blood sacrifice for the upcoming Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. Jack is also in love with a girl, Emaline, which is also Daisy's, the girl who went missing, sister.

I r...more
Shirley Vernick
May 03, 2011 Shirley Vernick added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I wrote it!
Kellee
Jack Pool loves Emaline. He knows that because of their faith, he is Jewish, she is Christian, that it will never happen, but he truly loves her. If he isn't thinking about Emaline, he is thinking about his cello audition in 4 days for a music school in Syracuse- he'd be able to escape his town without even an orchestra or band. Music is his key to escaping and becoming something. Then on his 16th birthday, he walks home Daisy, Emaline's 4 year old sister and goes to work. Daisy disappears later...more
Sandra
In 1928 a four-year-old girl in the small town of Massena goes missing and soon the blame is placed on sixteen-year-old Jack Pool, his family, and other Jewish community members. Several of the local citizens on Massena believe the local Jewish population has killed the young girl as a blood sacrifice for their upcoming holy day, Yom Kippur.

A short review for a short book: What a heartbreaking novel. There was a lot of prejudice early on in the twentieth century and this book really shows that...more
Joemmama
Finally a good book with blood in the title that has nothing to do with vampires! "The Blood Lie" is a fascinating book based on a real incident that happened in 1928.

Jack Pool is a promising musician, falling in love for the first time, and Jewish. He longs for a Gentile girl, Emaline. He knows his music will take him away from his small town of Massena, New York, and that he and Emaline can never be together.

When Emalines little sister, Daisy goes missing, the town turns against the Pool famil...more
Britta
While this novella has a very important message of the damaging effects of hate, the way it is presented is not in the most effective manner. When a young girl disappears, a lie is created to divert police away from a different crime and in the direction of the Jewish "murderers". Rumors circulate, fingers are pointed, and an entire religion is blamed for the murder of a child.


My issue with this novel was that it just didn't read powerfully enough for such a huge subject matter. It takes place...more
Pamela Kramer
Blood Lie by Shirley Reva Vernick is not a book that might be recommended as a light beach read. Instead, it's the kind of book middle school English teachers love to use to force students to think outside of their comfort zone.

And that's a good thing.

This book uncovers the naked truth about prejudice and discrimination as it existed in the early 20th century in a small town in New York. The whole book covers four days -- four horrible days when the very existence of Jews in this small town is...more
Jessica
The synopsis above essentially says it all. The Blood Lie is a rather short, extremely realistic, look at one Jewish boy's first look into what is now commonly termed "Religisim". When Daisy goes missing the townspeople look for someone to blame, and Jack becomes their target. Jack is shown that his religion can trigger people to hate him and it changes his whole perception of life.

What I did enjoy about Shirley Reva Vernick's take on these actual events is how innocent she shows Jack to really...more
Trini
This is a very meaningful, educational and eye opening read. One that everyone one should take the time to enjoy. I love stories the provoke deeper thinking and give you new insight into different cultures, lives and experiences. I feel the more I know, the more I understand, and the less chance I will judge. The events in this book are a prime example of what ignorance can to do to innocent people and how easily lives can be destroyed by one lie from one persons selfish reason.

The Blood Lie is...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Shirley Reva Vernick bases this suspenseful and gripping novel on a true event that occurred in Massena, New York, in 1928. When a four-year-old girl named Daisy goes missing in the woods, certain prejudiced bootlegging townspeople are convinced that the Jewish residents of the town are responsible. Happening the day before Yom Kippur, they believe that the Jews need the blood of a Christian child to bake their bread. This is called "the blood lie," hence, the title of the book. Several of the J...more
Debbie
1928 but it could have been today. Religion was the definer of who you were in your community. Jack, a Jewish boy, and his neighbore Emaline, a Christian girl, were friends who wished so much more of their relationship but this was forbidden, never an option, you just don't mix. One night, Jack is accused by many townspeople, including the law, of a crime so heinous on Em's sister and he must fight to prove himself and protect not only his family, but the entire Jewish community. I loved the pre...more
Allison Riendeau
Had the feel of more of a novella...the author was definitely more concerned about the plot (based on true events) and the anti-prejudice message than character development or characters' relationships. Still, fairly well written for what it is.
Maggie
The Blood Lie: A Novel. Based on a little-known historical event, this is the fictionalized account of a boy falsely accused of murdering a neighborhood girl as part of a Jewish ritual. Riveting and thought-provoking; shows how prejudice can often lie hidden beneath the surface and erupt when least expected. Set in 1928, but in an afterword the author provides modern examples of ritual murder accusations. Three stars because the writing is good, but not great, and the story feels a bit didactic...more
Wicked Incognito Now
3.5 stars.

Interesting book, simplistically told.

This is the true story of a child who went missing in 1928 Massena, NY. The search quickly devolved in an anti-semitic witch hunt. A Jewish boy was accused of killing the girl as a blood sacrifice for a Jewish religious holiday.

This is a great book for the middle grades. It's a book that teachers will love to use in the classroom because there is ample opportunity for connections to non-fiction texts and sociological developments. But it is not a...more
Donna Burtwistle-Popplewell
An excellent novel that presents a common lie that connects to the prejudice and evil of anti-Semitism: the practice of blood libel.
Julia
In September of 1928 a four year old Gentile girl goes missing in Massena, NY and the small community of Jews there are blamed and accused when a Greek café owner finds out it’s just days before Yom Kippur. This true story is filled out with fictional characters like 16 year old Jewish Jack Pool who has a crush on the four year old’s older sister, Emmaline and an audition at a music school in Syracuse right after Yom Kippur. This novella would be excellent reading for middle school and high scho...more
Angelina Justice
This was an incredible read. I'm still astounded at how much information, action and emotion was packed into such a short novel. The main character gets to experience prejudice against himself and his religious brethern for the first time, under exceedingly harrowing conditions.

The main character is an average young Jewish American, until the day someone hiding from the law starts a horrible lie, a blood lie, that will ignite the fears and hatred of the town and forever change the way he views t...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Meghan
Cover Story: Flaunt It
BFF Charm: Maybe
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factor: Truthiness
Relationship Status: Study Buddy

Read the full book report here.
Kate McCartney
Blood Lie makes a reader think about perceptions, real and false, stereotypes and bigotry. It makes you shudder to know how easily a lie, fear, hatred or a persons self serving attitude can domino effect a community to over react. I think this would make a great book discussion book with Middle Schoolers.
Tracey
such a great story but it was told in such a boring way i'm surprised that i read through it. i didn't take me long because there was no substance to the book. i literally just read some words on a page until i was finished. i can't even hate this book this book. i didn't feel anything for it.
Angela
Apr 13, 2012 Angela rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I'm glad this book exists: it belies the notion that anti-Semitism was never a serious problem on American soil and it details a little-known historical blood libel in 1928. However, the writing is stilted and it turns a story that should be a real page turner into something that's just ho-hum.
Barbara Lovejoy
This is a must read book. I first heard about it from Cinco Puntos but couldn't find it at the library at the time. Tried again a couple of days ago, and they now had it. It only takes about two hours to read but is filled with an incredible story--based on a true story.
Jessica Faber
Ok book. I enjoy reading historical fiction but I felt like a lot of things could have been developed more. Over all though the author did a decent job with the story. It's sad, so if you're looking for something to cheer you up, don't read it. Over all though- decent read.
Stacey
I was interested in this book because it takes place very close to where I live. It was interesting to hear references to the towns I am familiar with, but the there really wasn't much to the story. It was only a novella so there was not much character devlopment.
Diana Gagliardi
An important topic, based on a true story. A little girl goes missing and the Jewish community is accused and harassed. It is very short and goes through a number of things done and the things said in the community.

Not a book you want to read, but should read.
B0ryana
Great read! I finished the book in about 2 hours . It kept my interest the whole time. It was well-written and I felt sympathetic about what was happening in that little town.
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