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Broken Song

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The year is 1897, and gifted violinist Reuven Bloom is fifteen years old. Life for the Jews in Russia is very hard. First Reuven's best friend is captured to serve in the Tsar's army, then his parents and older sister are murdered. Reuven's dreams of music must be set aside. Now he has only one goal: escape. With his baby sister strapped to his back, Reuven sets off toward ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 3rd 2005 by Viking Juvenile
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79th out of 176 books — 298 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 352)
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Kay Leslie
Once again Kathryn Lasky has told with great style and emotion a very interesting story. Reuven and his sister Rachel are the only ones survive a pogrom that destroys their family and their town in Russia. Reuven's inner strength saves them both. And it is that strength that eventually leads them both to a new and productive life in a America.
Robert B. Miller
Read by Anjie, Summer 2006:
"The jacket suggests a reading age of 10 and up. Some of the passages were a little distracting because I wasn't sure of the pronunciations (Yiddish and Russian). The story takes place in 1897, in a small Jewish village in Russia where Reuven Bloom is a fifteen-year-old violinist. The Jewish people in his village live in fear because the tsar's army kidnap young Jewish men, and burn entire villages. Reuven's family, except his infant sister, Rachel, are murdered by the
Books Kids Like
Oct 06, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it really liked it
Shelves: lasky-kathryn
Reuven Bloom lives with his family in the Russian Pale, an area inhabited by Jews. Even at the young age of fifteen, he’s an extremely talented violinist. Persecution is a way of life for Russian Jews, but the news of murderous pogroms throughout the Pale has everyone on edge. On the sixth day of Hanukkah in 1897, Reuven’s parents and older sister are murdered by Cossacks. Miraculously, Reuven and his baby sister, Rachel, survive. Dressed as a peasant woman and carrying Rachel in a basket, Reuve ...more
Mar 09, 2014 Susi rated it really liked it
This is a charming book about a very sad time. I agree with other reviewers that it's any early teen book. It has some tense parts that make it unsuitable for more sensitive kids.
Feb 04, 2014 Suzi rated it really liked it
I always learn so much from her books, and this was no exception.
Miss Amanda
gr 5-9 150pgs

1897-1904 Berischeva village Russia/NYC. After everyone in his village is killed by Coassacks in a pogrom, 15 year old Reuven takes his baby sister Rachel and heads for Vilna where is cousin lives. He hopes that his cousin will be able to help, but to get they must survive the long journey there.

Interesting story. Recommended to middle school or higher. Companion book to "The Night Journey".
Mar 08, 2015 Mysterylady rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.
Mary Ann
Nov 25, 2013 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing
This story comes from a dark time of our history, but makes me wonder if we've ever gotten out of the dark time of man. This story of how individuals handle revenge is thought provoking. Donald Graves would be affirmed in how Rachel saves her memories and adapts to a new language and country. ESL teachers could take heart from this story, but will need to get to the end to find their nugget of gold.
This book is sad, but hard to put down. A 16 year old Jewish boy, saw his parents and sister killed while he was hidden in the potato cellar (Fiddler on the Roof time period). His whole village was demolished and now he has to take his 16 month old sister on a trek to a far away village where he hopes he will be able to go to America where his uncle lives. I cant wait to see what happens.
May 16, 2010 Virginia rated it liked it
A moving story of Reuven and his journey with his baby sister, Rachel. Ever since I had my baby, I cry very easily when it comes to babies, and this story was no exception. Well-written and I learned a little history, to boot. My only gripe is that the ending is rather abrupt. (But I did like reading an epilogue to the characters I grew to love.)
Apr 28, 2008 Lora rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful, life-affirming book. Music has power beyond its momentary entertainment value; it can save a soul by helping a person connect with the best aspects of being human. Even though he has to set it aside to save his and his sister's lives, Reuven learns just how costly ignoring his musical gift could be.
I read this book for a challenge and I'm glad that I discovered it. The writing is quite good. Even though each segment of time isn't very well developed, it still gives the reader a good idea of how desperately hard life was for the Jews in Russia during the years 1897-1904.
Sep 22, 2010 Patricia rated it liked it
A good book about a young boy coming of age in war torn Russia during the late 1800's. He's a violinist that becomes a rebel and sabotuer for the underground. Quick read as it's juvenile literature category.
Leah Coffin
Oct 18, 2012 Leah Coffin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read The Night Journey as a kid and loved it, although I didn't truly understand it until I reread it years later. This sequel is, quite simply, amazing, and dovetails beautifully with the original.
Aug 23, 2013 Cathy rated it it was amazing
A companion book for "The Night Journey". Join the resistance in saving Jews from the czar's pogroms. I am thrilled that Reuven got his own story...I really wondered what happened to him.
Jul 01, 2008 Jumpsinpuddles41 rated it it was amazing
Jews in Russia 1897 - excellent
Nov 11, 2012 Sharia added it
So sad, but a great sense of history.
Jul 20, 2011 Margo rated it really liked it
Good for 5th grade and up
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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“If you are not for yourself, who will be for you? If you are only for yourself, what are you? If not now, when? –Rabbi Hillel” 1 likes
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