From my list on middle-grade depicting different cultures.
Who am I?
When I was five, my family moved from Morocco to France. We were Jewish in a very homogeneously Catholic world. My French upbringing didn’t include much exposure to other cultures and I often felt uncomfortably different. I would have liked to know more about various lifestyles, cultures, and traditions than those I observed around me. I now love to learn about other cultures through personal accounts, stories, and memoirs. I feel engaged and interested in a way I never experienced with textbooks. Reading about people who live a different life from our own can be an eye-opening experience.
Sylvie's book list on middle-grade depicting different cultures
Why did Sylvie love this book?
Mirka is a dreamer, unlike what her Orthodox Jewish family expects of her: to prepare herself for a future husband, to help around the house, to knit, to study. She dreams of witches, of trolls, and of fighting dragons.
I loved the character of Mirka: bravely standing up to local bullies, cleverly outwitting the giant knitting troll, and also dealing—more or less successfully—with parental expectations and a large number of siblings.
I found the mix of fantasy and cultural traditions delightful. I loved the few words of Yiddish sprinkled here and there (with their translation), and the cozy world of the Sabbath during which even concerns about trolls must stop. This is a really fun and funny book.