Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blue Thread” as Want to Read:
Blue Thread
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blue Thread

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  118 Ratings  ·  58 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Lisa Ard
Feb 09, 2012 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 17, 2012 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
Nov 26, 2011 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 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
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a fan of historical fiction, and particularly interested in the progressive movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so I was excited to read Blue Thread. I was intrigued by the idea of a novel about a young woman being swept up in the suffrage movement in 1912, and as a resident of Portland who’s besotted with it, I looked forward to reading about a fictional character’s journey through an earlier incarnation of my city.

I enjoyed many things about Blue Thread, includ
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I started Blue Thread, I knew I would encounter a spunky protagonist named Miriam and a mysterious time traveler named Serakh. (I’d read Seven Stitches, the third book in the Blue Thread Saga, earlier this year.) But I didn’t expect such a refreshing, compelling narrative. Miriam is every bit the independent, creative, resourceful young woman I wanted to be at sixteen. The tension between her and her father, a Jewish immigrant who’d lost family members and started supporting his family at t ...more
Emma Hovley
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This YA novel by Ruth Tenzer Feldman is a refreshing change of pace from the boy-centered plots and characters I was expecting. I will be the first to admit that I have only recently dabbled in the young adult shelves of my local bookstores, but Miriam Josefsohn is a headstrong and confident protagonist whose focus on women’s rights and personal struggle to make peace with her parents is inspiring and refreshing. The introduction of a time-traveling shawl—a family heirloom that comes with a lot ...more
Anmarie Maier
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one first

There are currently three books in this series; this one takes place first. I read it while staying at the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland and it was wonderful to take a walking tour of the places mentioned in the book. The storyline was believable and the characters well-developed. It's about a teen aged girl learning about the mysterious family heirloom prayer shawl she is given by her uncle. Time travel, semantics, and a little bible history are all woven into this great
Joanna Szabo
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve been waiting to read Blue Thread for a while, but this book is exactly what I wanted (needed?) to read right now. It’s a story about a time and place not my own as well as a story a little closer to home: here in Portland, but set in 1912, during the women’s suffrage movement. The desire for women’s suffrage—Miriam’s understanding, even as a girl of 16, of the importance of responsibility of voting—rings especially true today. I needed to read about a Jewish girl fighting for what’s right, ...more
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read. 16 year old Miriam Josephsohn is a budding suffragist in 1912 Portland. She receives a visit from the mysterious Serakh, a woman mentioned twice in the Bible, 400 years apart. Serakh is a Jewish folk figure believed to be immortal, and she guides Miriam to the Mosaic era to witness a triumph of rights for women in that time. Most of the novel takes place in 1912, with Miriam encouraged and inspired by Serakh and the Hebrew women.

Kids who have finished the Little House on t
Hylary Locsin
Sep 06, 2012 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
Jan 14, 2012 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
Dec 03, 2011 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
Dennis Fischman
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this book, and I realize it was seeing a suffragist banner that alluded to the daughters of Tzlofchad that gave the author the idea for this book to begin with. So, I am bemused that I think the two parts of the book don't belong together. The 1912 story could stand on its own. While it's nice to see a fantasy element based on a Jewish motif for a change, the blue thread seems a little woo-woo to me. And I don't think there's any need to explain where the daughters got the courage to s ...more
Margaret Pinard
A simplified version of events (for younger YA, like, right after the American Girl series), a deft mix of history, fantasy, growing up, biblical reference, inspiration. And so much of Portland woven in! Enjoyed it.
Jasmine Gower
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Blue Thread is a fun and hopeful read that brings together Judaic tradition with American and feminist history to explore the concepts of equality, coming into womanhood, and holding on to cultural tradition in the American melting pot. Mariam is a charming young heroine whose drive, curiosity, goodwill, and naivety are convincing for a character of both her age and her socioeconomic class, and her balancing act between notions of American feminist modernity and centuries-old Jewish tradition ta ...more
Leigh Thomas
Mar 14, 2016 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
Lisa Hein
Dec 05, 2016 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
May 29, 2016 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 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
Gloria Mulvihill
May 18, 2016 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
Oct 07, 2013 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
Feb 03, 2013 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
Aug 12, 2015 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
Jenna W
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Doyle
Mar 14, 2015 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
Jun 08, 2014 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 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 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
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Written in Stone
  • Rachel's Secret (The Rachel Trilogy #1)
  • The Freedom Maze
  • Hidden
  • Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris (Mira's Diary, #1)
  • Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, Enlarged Edition
  • On Viney's Mountain
  • In Trouble
  • Warriors in the Crossfire
  • Audacity
  • Alphabet of Dreams
  • New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery
  • Threads and Flames
  • Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond
  • The World Outside
  • Ride for Rights
  • Jump Into the Sky
  • Chase
Ruth is an award-winning author of books and articles, mainly for children and young adults. Her three companion novels...Blue Thread, The Ninth Day, and Seven Stitches...combine speculative and historical fiction with a time travel twist. Blue Thread won the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature in 2012 and was listed by the American Library Association as one of the best feminist book ...more
More about Ruth Tenzer Feldman...

Young Adult Deals

  • Things I Should Have Known
    $9.99 $2.99
  • These Vicious Masks
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #1)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Queens of Geek
    $7.80 $2.99
  • The Lovely Reckless
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Door Within (The Door Within, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Love Fortunes and Other Disasters
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Crash (Crash, #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Memory of Things
    $7.80 $2.99
  • How to Love
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.24 $1.99
  • Love, Lies & Spies
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Perfected (Perfected #1)
    $5.99 $0.99
  • Speak Easy, Speak Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Allegedly
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Unspoken (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation, # 2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (The Adrian Mole Series)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Been Here All Along
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
    $7.09 $2.99

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »