The Length of a String

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Written by Elissa Brent Weissman

Imani is a bright, inquisitive 12 year-old black girl living an uneventful and quiet life in present-day Baltimore. Adopted at birth by a loving Jewish family, Imani has nevertheless begun to wonder more and more about her birth parents and her own ethnic background. After her Great-grandmother, Anna, passes away, Imani discovers Anna’s childhood journal and begins to read it. Soon Imani uncovers secrets about her Great-grandmother that makes her reevaluate her own life and problems.

Imani discovers that Anna was only 12 years-old when she fled Luxembourg in 1941. To escape the advancing German army, her parents had to make a heart-wrenching decision to send only one of their six children to America and safety. The journal records Anna’s lonely and harrowing journey to her new home and new life with her own adopted family. Anna’s story helps Imani see her family (and her place in it) in a new and revealing light.

The Length of a String is a story that connects and intertwines family members through many years and many diverse places and experiences. It also skillfully illustrates that families can come in many shapes and colors and sometimes we just have to find out for ourselves the ties (or string) that ultimately bind us to each other. I recommend this for ages 10 and up.

Review by Lynda H. Wilson, David Gourley Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Ages 10 and Up

The Length of a String
Written by Elissa Brent Weissman
Dial Books For Young Readers
379 pages
Release Date: May 1, 2018
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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