Ciara's Reviews > Meet Rebecca

Meet Rebecca by Jacqueline Dembar Greene
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's review
May 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: kids-books, read-in-2010
Read in May, 2010

man, i have such a soft spot for the american girl books. i am giving this one four stars compared against its american girl bretheren, & the other books in the rebecca series. i'm not saying i loved it, but for what it is, it's not bad. rebecca rubin is the newest in the american girl historical doll line. she was launched last may. she's nine years old & lives in 1914. her parents are russian jewish immigrants who came to the united states & met while working at a shoe factory. they eventually scraped together enough money for rebecca's father to open his own shoe shop, though he is forced to work on the jewish sabbath to keep food on the table for everyone. rebecca has older twin sisters & two brothers, one older & one younger. her grandparents, bubbie & grandpa, live upstairs.

in this book, rebecca is upset because her older sisters always get to light the candles for sabbath. they treat rebecca like a baby & say she's not old enough to light the candles or go to the movies with them. rebecca wants to save money to buy her own candlesticks so she can light the candles every week. she has the bright idea to sell the various linens she has made for her wedding trousseau, because she thinks maybe having a trousseau is old-fashioned & she won't really need it. she sneaks selections from her trousseau into her father's shoe shop when she's helping him out & sells things when she thinks he's not looking.

but her father has received a letter from his brother back in russia. he & his family (two sons & a daughter, ana, who is rebecca's age) want to escape russia & come to america, but they can't afford tickets. they need rebecca's father to send them the tickets, but rebecca's father doesn't know how he can afford it. ana is sick & needs to get out of russia ASAP. her father is worried that if they wait much longer, she won't survive the trip. rebecca feels guilty for wanting candlesticks & wonders if she should give her father the money she has made to contribute to tickets for ana's family to come to the united states.

rebecca's uncle max saves the day by making a big donation to the ticket fund after he gets a big part in a movie. rebecca is inspired by his generosity & admits that she's been selling off her trousseau & gives the money to her father. she's worried that her grandma will be mad about decimating the trousseau, & that her father will be mad that she sold linens to his customers, but everyone is actually pretty impressed by her entrepeneuring. her sister donate items from their trousseaus & convince their father to display them in his store. he agrees & they get the money to buy tickets for the family back in russia.

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