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Blue Thread

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews

The women’s suffrage movement is in full swing in 1912 Portland, Oregon—the last holdout state on the West Coast. Miriam desperately wants to work at her father’s printing shop, but when he refuses she decides to dedicate herself to the suffrage movement, demanding rights for women and a different life for herself. Amidst the uncertainty of her future, Miriam’s attention i
Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Ooligan Press
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Lisa Ard
Aug 11, 2016 Lisa Ard rated it liked it
Ruth Tenzer Feldman makes the jump from non-fiction to fiction with Blue Thread, the coming of age story of Miriam Josefsohn, a sixteen-year old Jewish girl living in Portland, Oregon in 1912. This is the height of the women's suffrage movement in Oregon and Miriam is swept into it, after meeting two women running a millinery shop.

Miriam finds herself stuck between two worlds. The first is a new daring arena where women make their own decisions, they work and they seek equal treatment under the
Apr 24, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it liked it
1912, Portland. Miriam is a young woman who desperately wants to work at her father’s printing shop and has been mustering up the courage to ask him for a chance to prove herself. For the past months, she has been reading about printing, practicing on her own and is full of innovative ideas. Unfortunately, her parents have other plans for Miriam and she finds herself having to enter the marriage market against her will. Meanwhile, the women’s suffrage movement is spreading and although her paren ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Dec 03, 2013 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it
This is def an interesting read. Never read anything quite like it. That's a point in its favor. This is like Jewish fiction, and why not? Christians have their own fiction, clean, entertaining stories with subtle religious themes or stories.

This one follows a Jewish girl in 1912 Oregon. She has a horrid, domineering father and a submissive mother who "knows her place". Until a prayer shawl with a blue thread and a time-traveling companion from Biblical days appears, there's no way Miriam would
Anne Osterlund
Mar 09, 2012 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it
Miriam Josefsohn is many things: a daughter, a jew, a suffragette. She hopes one day a printer. But the year is 1912 and that day may never come if Miriam’s parents have their way arranging her future.

The future, though, is a flowing concept for the women of the Josefsohn family. As is time itself.

When Miriam learns of her unique inheritance—a special shawl woven with a blue thread—a gateway to the past opens. And perhaps an even more powerful gateway to the future.

Like Miriam herself, The Blue
Hylary Locsin
Sep 06, 2012 Hylary Locsin rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Being a well-to-do girl in 1912 Portland, Oregon doesn’t give sixteen-year-old Miriam Josefsohn the freedom to choose what kind of life she leads. Her strict German-born father insists that Miriam be a proper young lady, which means that she will never be able to work a job, cannot get involved in politics like the women’s suffrage movement, and needs to focus on what’s important: getting married
Sylvia McIvers
Miriam wants to be a printer, just like her daddy. She has a book of printing fonts in her bedroom, and imagines creating such lovely posters, menus, and bills that people line up at the door of her print shop door. Unfortunately for her, Daddy doesn’t believe that girls are able to do the work, and intends someday to leave the shop to Miriam’s younger cousin Albert. Mama doesn’t believe girls need an education. This fall, instead of going to school again as she wants, Miriam will leave Ohio to ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
Oct 29, 2012 Gayle Francis Moffet rated it really liked it
"Blue Thread" is a historical YA novel with a smattering of science fiction. Miriam is a 16-year-old Jewish girl in Portland, OR on the eve of the 1912 state vote for women's suffrage. Her parents are old-fashioned in their ideas and their goals for their daughter, and their continued attempts to make her conform to their way of thinking is weakened not only by the suffragettes Miriam meets, but also by a time-traveler who comes and asks for her assistance. You see, Miriam comes from a long line ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Blue Thread is the story of Miriam Josefson. She lives in 1912 Portland, OR at the height of the women's suffrage movement. Her father owns a printing shop, which Miriam loves to visit and hopes one day to run. But her father is determined to have Miriam marry well and live life as a proper lady. It seems that no matter how hard Miriam tries, she will not sway her father. Then fate intervenes. One day a mysterious girl named Serakh appears to Miriam and tells her that her great-grandmother's pra ...more
Lisa Hein
Dec 05, 2016 Lisa Hein rated it really liked it
Blue Thread is the first of Ruth Tenzer Feldman's companion books in this Oregon Book Award-winning series. A historical fiction young adult novel with a time-traveling twist, this novel sets the stage for a saga that follows a family line that experiences generational time slips. The protagonist, Miriam, lives in 1912 Portland and dreams of establishing a career at her father's print shop. Unfortunately, her father is completely against the idea, and wants to pull Miriam out of school and send ...more
Leigh Thomas
Mar 26, 2016 Leigh Thomas added it
Shelves: 2016
Ruth Tenzer Feldman’s Blue Thread weaves the story of sixteen-year-old Miriam, a Jewish girl in turn-of-the-century Portland, Oregon, and the beginning of women’s history in Biblical times, centering on the five daughters of Zelophehad. As the women’s suffrage movement rises, Miriam finds herself caught between a traditional life trajectory with the expectation to become marriage material, and following her own ambitions along a path that will require bravery. When Miriam meets an enigmatic woma ...more
May 29, 2016 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Blue Thread is a captivating and unique story that serves to inspire young female YA audiences. It does so brilliantly, and with a twist. The intertwining of fantasy and realistic fiction is woven together as seamlessly as the prayer shawl Miriam carries, and the particular representations of Judaism, the working class of the 1920s, and important historical figures are not only accurate, but inspiring. Although a great deal of the text relies on a religious understanding, I never felt bogged dow ...more
Kristin M.
Jun 08, 2015 Kristin M. rated it it was ok
I’m giving Blue Thread a rating of 2. The characters seemed more like stereotypes than real flesh-and-blood people to me, the middle section was slow and uninteresting, and I found myself unable to become emotionally invested in the things that the protagonist felt were vitally important – and given that said heroine was an early 20th century suffragist, and I am a woman who very much appreciates her right to vote, that speaks volumes! I think the credibility of Miriam’s concerns was damaged by ...more
Jenna W
Dec 04, 2016 Jenna W rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hilary Louth
Dec 05, 2016 Hilary Louth rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. What a new take on so many subjects! Not only is this book in part a historical look at the Women's Suffrage movement in Oregon in 1912, but the main character is a Jewish girl who can time travel using her grandmother's prayer shawl. Miriam loves her father's printing business and would like nothing more than to go into that line of work, but she is being pressured to fulfill the role expected of her and to meekly be married off.

Miriam is visited by Serakh, a woman from bibl
Gloria Mulvihill
May 19, 2016 Gloria Mulvihill rated it really liked it
A Brief Synopsis:

Miriam is sixteen years old and living in Portland during the time of the Oregon campaign for women’s right to vote. One day she runs into a mysterious girl in ill-fitting clothes that smell strangely of goats who asks her about her blue thread. Miriam soon discovers she comes from a long line of time travelers and it is her birthright to use the blue thread to go back and help the Daughters of Zelophehad earn the right to their inheritance.


I had the great pleasure of mee
Apr 27, 2014 Roberta rated it really liked it
I had fun reading this book and think that if makes for a great beginning to a fun new series. Miriam is very likable and is a great role model for girls to look up to. She is smart, resourceful, and doesn't let the very male dominated world of the early 1900's stop her from doing what she wants to do. Despite her father's obvious negative feelings about the Women's Suffrage movement, Miriam gets involved in the fight while simultaneously teaching herself the printing business (and often using t ...more
Dec 05, 2016 Alyssa rated it liked it
Blue Thread is at its heart an inspiring story. In this day, it is more and more difficult to find YA books that feature a genuinely strong female lead, but Blue Thread manages to do that with Miriam. As a 16-year-old fighting for women’s right to vote in 1912 Portland, Miriam gives women today an example to follow, breaking outside of the expectations put on them by their environment. The blend of biblical times and 1912—and the women willing to fight for what they want—makes it easy to see the ...more
Jun 29, 2013 Maraskywalkeriii rated it it was amazing
Blue Thread is an inspirational YA adult novel to girls of all ages. I loved the main character Miriam; a strong female that made me wish I could have been a suffragette back in the early twentieth century. The book is an interweaving of two separate stories on different time lines; The 1912 women's struggle for the right to vote in Oregon, and women's struggle to acquire the rightful inheritance to their land in the time of Moses. Through the power of her grandmother's prayer shawl, she travels ...more
Chelsea Lobey
Dec 29, 2015 Chelsea Lobey rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I don’t typically read a lot of young adult books, but this one I found to be interesting and unique. The fact that this book is set in a time period far different from my own made it stand out from other young adult books about young women struggling to find out who they are and what they stand for. I found Miriam, the main character, to be relatable despite the difference in time period. The things she struggled with are similar to things young women still struggle with, and I liked her tenaci ...more
Megan Doyle
Mar 14, 2015 Megan Doyle rated it it was amazing
Blue Thread by Ruth Tenzer Feldman is a great crossover, where fantasy meets historical fiction. Not only do you have the main character Miriam, who lives in turn-of-the-century Portland, but there is also the mysterious girl named Serakh, who takes Miriam on a time-traveling adventure to Biblical times.

Some of the themes and setting are religious—Miriam is Jewish, and she time travels to the time of Moses in Canaan—but the real message is universal. Miriam lives among the suffrage movement and
Sep 07, 2016 Ari rated it really liked it
It's not every day that I come across a historical Jewish time-travel novel with a female protagonist, so I had to read this based on the premise alone, and I'm glad I did. It was an enjoyable read. Some people have already discussed the novel's plot, so I will focus instead on the little things I really enjoyed. I haven't read a lot of YA lately, but I'm familiar with the genre, so it was refreshing to see a protagonist whose parents actually existed in the foreground instead of drifting in and ...more
Dec 15, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it
Loved this book! So privileged to be one of the proofreaders for the electronic version at Ooligan Press. Be sure to check out its new companion volume, The Ninth Day. I went to Ruth's reading recently and enjoyed the two parts of that book that she read. Ooligan claims it doesn't accept genre books, but this is the second time travel series they've published (the first was about Abraham Lincoln, and it didn't spark my interest enough for me to get past the first of the three). Shouldn't time tr ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Melina rated it really liked it
A Jewish girl in turn-of-the-century Portland, Oregon meets a mysterious woman, Serakh, and with the help of a magical prayer shawl, travels through back through history to the time of Moses.

This is a truly unique, historical fiction Young Adult novel. Its blending of history and time travel gives voice to the struggles of women during both the suffrage movement and in ancient times where women must fight to claim their rightful inheritance.

While this book is truly unique and provides a fascin
Jun 04, 2012 Whitney rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
This is a clever YA novel based in Oregon in 1912. Telling the story of sixteen year old Miriam Josefsohn who wants to grow up to work in her father's print shop in a time women were still struggling to get the vote.While suffragette narratives are not normally my thing, Blue Thread also contains a surprising twist tied up in time travel and a little known story in the Bible. Through this bizarre contact, Miriam finds herself the inspiration behind these ancient figures, and finds the strength w ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Margo rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Blue Thread caught my attention because it’s a mix of young adult fantasy and Jewish historical fiction, with a plot centering around the women’s suffrage movement in Portland, Oregon. I’d never heard of a book with a mix of all those elements, so it was promptly added to my reading list.
And boy, am I glad I did. The book pulled me in from page one. Not only is Miriam an awesome, strong female protagonist, but she’s a very likeable and relatable character, even though she’s se
Katey Trnka
Jun 05, 2016 Katey Trnka rated it really liked it
The first in a loosely connected series, Tenzer-Feldman's Blue Thread introduces young adult readers to strong female protagonists, real-world issues and events (here the suffrage movement of the early twentieth century), and time travel.

While I don't always reach of young adult literature, one thing I really love about Tenzer Feldman's work in particular is how she is able to weave the historical and the mystical together seamlessly, giving young readers a unique way to contextualize complex, r
Oct 05, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
When this author decided there would be time travel in her book, she didn't just go a few decades into the past, she went biblical. It's kind of sci-fi YA with religious undertones which is not normally my kind of book, but I enjoyed learning more about Oregon's past and the history of women's rights. I was concerned that the religious aspect would interfere with my ability to enjoy the story, but it didn't. The book uses characters from the Bible to enhance the story, but it does not push any t ...more
Frances Kane
Aug 11, 2016 Frances Kane rated it really liked it
This book was fantastic! The setting of the book during the Women's Suffrage Movement added so much to the story. I loved the main character Miriam, a Jewish girl who wants to work and join the Suffrage Movement but cannot because of her domineering father and submissive mother who knows "her place." That is an interesting story in itself and something I would read but the added time traveling piece with the mysterious Serakh was another plot point I really enjoyed. Despite the fact the novel is ...more
Deena Anreise
Jul 18, 2012 Deena Anreise rated it really liked it
First and foremost, this is a YA novel about the strength, resilience, and courage of women and girls. There are Jewish undertones, but they seem to serve the historical fiction aspects of the novel more than any overall religious bent. What I enjoyed most was the tie-in to Oregon's suffrage movement in 1912 (which celebrates its centennial this year), and the headstrong protagonist's very contemporary desire to be more than what men and greater society think females should be. This is an extrem ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Toni rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women, historical fiction, book groups
Recommended to Toni by: Grandma
This was another book given to me by my grandma that had been autographed by the author.

When I first picked this book up to read, I figured it would focus around women’s suffrage during the early 1900s, but I could not figure out the blue thread part. I was surprised to find a couple of components in this book: (1) the story takes place in Portland, Oregon, (2) the main character and her family are Jewish, which explains the blue thread part of the story, and (3) the story line has a bit of mys
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Ruth is an award-winning author of books and articles, mainly for children and young adults. She has been an attorney, editor, research analyst, ticket seller, and keypunch operator. Her 10 nonfiction books focus on history and biography, while her articles range from leeches to Einstein’s refrigerator. Blue Thread, her forthcoming historical fiction/fantasy for young adults, entwines the struggle ...more
More about Ruth Tenzer Feldman...

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