Mirka M. G. Breen
West Jerusalem, early June 1967, the eve of war. Ten-year-old Mira Levi and her best friend Gili Moser share an awful secret. They have discovered a new radio station called The Voice of Thunder from Cairo. Broadcasting in accented Hebrew, it threatens the demise of their country, their city, and their families. As the menace beats the drums of war, on June 5th the danger becomes all too real.
Mira finds her own voice as she struggles to drown the distant terror of The Voice of Thunder. In these first two weeks of June, not only are Mira and Gili's lives changed forever, but history will never be the same.
"Breen adeptly juxtaposes the ordinary events of day-to-day life with the more dramatic events of a country on the brink of—and later entering—war….The readable style capably delivers a history lesson likely unfamiliar to young readers."
“There are too few books for middle grade and young adult readers about modern Israeli history in all its complexity and nuance. It’s a vital topic and ought to be more often addressed. Here’s one book that offers a slice of that history and can start an excellent dialogue. It is recommended for ages 9-15.”
Praise for THE VOICE OF THUNDER:
“Historical events of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War in the summer of 1967 become the human story of two pre-teen girls in a Jerusalem apartment complex discerning the causes of war. Who is on the right side? Where is God? Gili and Mira live out the war amid a well-drawn supporting cast, and descriptions of their milieu both vivid and spare. This book fleshes out a deep wisdom concerning human prejudice and violence, a wisdom reinforced with effective poetic imagery and moments of human warmth. Readers of any age will learn from the secrets, prayers, and dreams of these characters.”
Shannon E. Hengen, Ph.D., literary critic and professor emerita of Canadian and women's literature at Laurentian University
“The author of this brave and moving book fictionalizes the events that she herself witnessed during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in 1967. The story has an emotional depth and authenticity that will touch the heart of every reader.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a Jewish child living in Israel under constant threat of annihilation, this is the book for you. I was profoundly touched by this story of ten year-old Mira who lived through the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. This is a wonderful story that has warmth and heart as well as suspense.
Serious and suspenseful, yet also poignant, funny, and warm-hearted. Ms. Breen breathes life into the story of Mira, her best friend Gili, and the ominous events that surround them.”
Ellen Jackson, award-winning author of 58 books for children
“In her beautifully told story, Mirka Breen captures the experiences of two young Jewish girls who are trying to survive the 6-Day War. The novel’s importance stems from the fact that it raises awareness about a little known war, and the knowledge that Breen actually lived these experiences makes the work even more powerful.”
Katy Duffield, author of books for children and young adults
“In The Voice of Thunder, Breen gives us memorable characters and a realistic, tension-filled narrative of Jerusalem in 1967. Ten-year-old friends, Mira and Gili, struggle with family relationships at the same time they struggle with fears as their country goes to war. Superb historical fiction that addresses some tough questions.”
Evelyn B. Christensen, Ed.D.Educator and award-winning author of over 40 books
Mirka Breen effectively tells the story of a critical time in modern Jewish history and in the life of the young State of Israel as viewed by a preadolescent girl in Jerusalem. The characters are real and well-rounded and the story is griping. She successfully portrays the atmosphere in Jerusalem before and during the Six Days War while providing the young reader with characters that are easy to identify with. The story is far from black and white, history is told in a wide range of colors and points of view.
Eve Rembrand, Reference Librarian, Emek Yezreel College, Israel
Breen takes young readers on a fascinating journey in the middle of Jerusalem, Israel, and the Six Day War. Like the journal of Anne Frank, we get a glimpse into what it was like to be a Jew in an antagonistic world. The Voice of Thunder will move you to the edge of your seat as you witness this harrowing time in the life of a fifth grade Israeli Jewish girl, Mira. It will also leave you with a smile.
Pam Calvert, author of The Multiplying Menace series and other books for children
An oak tree holds secret wishes for Mira, the young dreamer, in Mirka Breen's powerful debut novel THE VOICE OF THUNDER. Mira's best friend Gili is as volatile as the real war brewing around their lives in Jerusalem in 1967, which echoes Breen's own childhood experience of living through the Six-Day War. Mira and Gili's friendship and families are threatened and those secret wishes become tools for survival and will keep readers turning the pages of this compelling new novel.
Alison Formento, Author of the award-winning THIS TREE COUNTS! and THESE BEES COUNT!
From Hometown 520
When a family hosts a turkey rather than eat one, the real celebration begins!
“There’s a Turkey at the Door” is a book that vegetarian families will treasure, but all families will enjoy. It is a warm, humorous and whimsical story with a universal message about acceptance. As a vegetarian for over 40 years who raised three vegetarian children, I can strongly relate to Niles’ feelings of being an outsider, of needing to explain how his family is “different,” when asked, each year, by his teacher to write about “Turkey Day.” When a wild turkey appears at Niles’ doors on Thanksgiving, “Turkey Day” takes on an all new and very special meaning.
Sue Klapholz, M.D., Ph.D Stanford University
Everyone understands how frustrated Niles is when he’s assigned homework…once again…to write a story about his family’s turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. There’s a Turkey at the Door is a precious picture book that will leave every reader cheering for the turkey who joined Niles and his family for an unforgettable day. Highly recommended.
Nancy I. Sanders, award-winning and bestselling children’s author
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