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Children's Fiction Holocaust

Jesse's Star

by (author) Ellen Schwartz

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 2000
Holocaust, Emigration & Immigration, Multigenerational
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2000
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2000
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Jesse's project about his immigrant ancestors is due tomorrow and he hasn't started. In a last-ditch effort to find some information about his great-great grandfather, Yossi, Jesse rummages through the mess in the attic until he finds a little battered travel case, full of pictures, and something else—a Star of David. At first it looks plain and unimportant, but as he holds it in his hand, the star begins to glow. Jesse is in for the surprise, and adventure, of his life as he finds himself becoming the star's first owner, his own great-great grandfather.

About the author


  • Short-listed, Red Cedar nominee
  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily nominee
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch nominee
  • Long-listed, BC Book Prize nominee
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice

Editorial Reviews

"An exciting time warp tale...A fun book that packs a powerful lesson."

San Diego Jewish Times

"The plot is fast-paced and well-structured...The story of Yossi's mishaps and heroism is credible and engaging, as is the description of Russian Jewish culture and the village's way of life."

Resource Links

"Schwartz has managed successfully to weave historical fact into compelling fiction."


"Well written, fast paced, and a manageable length, this time-travel book is just right for those looking for an easy read."

School Library Journal

"Young readers will be readily drawn into the well-crafted plot and will be easily able to find a personal connection to Jesse and his present-day dilemma."

CM Magazine

"[The ending] is SO exciting that I would like you to read the book for yourself so that you can find out!"

The Active Page

"Shwartz's...depiction of the village has all the gusto and sprightly characterization of a folk tale...This optimistic tale of Jewish immigration fills a niche with its appealing warmth and energy."

Quill & Quire

Other titles by Ellen Schwartz