Rivka's First Thanksgiving
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Rivka's First Thanksgiving

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  8 reviews
More than anything, Rivka wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. She has learned all about the holiday in school and knows her family has a lot to be thankful for in America. But Rivka's parents are Jewish immigrants from Poland, and they wonder what Pilgrims and Indians have to do with them. Is Thanksgiving really a holiday for Jews?Rivka's grandmother, Bubbeh, decides to take...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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This fictional story is the retelling of the author’s introduction to the American holiday of Thanksgiving. As Polish immigrants in the 1910’s, nine year old Rivka and her family have never heard of the holiday. Diverse cultures from around the world immigrate to America. This is the story of how one little girl learned about Thanksgiving in public school and taught her family that it is a celebration for all Americans.

What she learns in school and shares with her family is that it is a big, ha...more
Ages: 8 - 10

"Rivka's First Thanksgiving" by Elsa Okon Rael tells the story a a young daughter of Jewish immigrants who learns about Thanksgiving in school and tries to convince her family to celebrate. In order for that to happen, they must consult with their rabbi. Eventually, Rivka prevails.

The basic message of this story, that different cultures can find common ground, is a good one. However, Thanksgiving remains a controversial holiday because, to many, it seems like an attempt to re-write...more
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
A young immigrant Jewish girl learns about the Thanksgiving holiday at school and is determined to convince the Rabbi and her family that her immigrant community in America should celebrate Thanksgiving too. A wonderful look at determination, persistence, cultural exchange and the holidays that can bring us all together.
Nov 14, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale of an immigrant community truly embracing the meaning of Thanksgiving, through the context of their own experiences and beliefs. It's a sweet story and an inspiring one, where a little girl stands up and defends her position on the holiday. Our girls really enjoyed this story, and while the story is sweet, it led to a discussion of some of the bad things that have happened to the Jewish people throughout history and why, perhaps, this holiday could mean so very much to t...more
Apr 11, 2009 Pat rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 3-4
Shelves: easyfiction
Lovely story of multicultural pride, perfect as a read-aloud. The elders of Rivka's Jewish community do not support American Thanksgiving because they think it is not a holiday for them, but brave Rivka convinces them otherwise.
Dec 17, 2007 BookOfLife added it
Shelves: podcasted
Hear an interview with illustrator Maryann Kovalski on The Book of Life podcast's Thanksgiving Shout-Out Special, November 2007, at www.bookoflifepodcast.com!
Models strength in conviction and never giving up. Shows that sometimes adults aren't right, and that traditions can be created as well as followed.
Another book I read to my classes each year!
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