Posts tagged ‘sacrifice’


While Daddy is Away: Days of Deployment

Written by Trista Lawrence

Illustrated by Denny Poliquit

A Christian family talks about how to stay strong while dad is deployed in military service. The older brother and sister help with chores, assist their baby brother and create projects to send dad and keep his spirits up. Though it is difficult for them, they understand the meaning of his sacrifice and are proud of him.

This picture book is recommended as a resource for families in military service.



The Lost Girl from Belzec, A WW2 Historical Novel

Written by Ravit Raufman

A complex historical holocaust novel based on a true story. It explores the complex psychological relationship between a mother and her daughter.

The Nazis thrust Ruthie and her daughter Noga into the Belzec concentration camp in Poland. Ruthie desperately wants to save Noga, so she smuggles her out of the camp. The author narrates the saga from both their points of view and alternates back and forth. While the author creates well-delineated characters in heartbreaking situations, this dual arrangement can be confusing and annoying.

For young adults and adults who enjoy carefully researched historical novels or those that explore complex psychological issues, this book is an excellent choice. The characters struggle to survive and experience pain and suffering through physical and mental torture. Readers should expect that the book will make a deep impression on them.


The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey – virtual book tour and giveaway #thecrystalbeads

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Purple Butterfly Press.


The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Written by Pat Black-Gould

Illustrated by Katya Royz

Ages 8+ | 40 Pages

Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press | ISBN-13: 9781955119207

Publisher’s Synopsis: A Star of David necklace or a rosary?

In 1939 Poland, a young girl is asked to give up one of these and accept the other without understanding why. However, what she must part with happens to be her most prized possession—a precious gift given to her by her father before he died.

The child’s mother then teaches the girl a “game” to prepare her for what is to come. As the Nazis invade the country, the mother is forced to make a heartbreaking sacrifice.

This beautifully illustrated picture book is loosely based on a true story. Although told through the eyes of a young girl, the book is written for readers of all ages. It also contains two study guides. One is for children, parents, and teachers. The other is for adults who may gather in places of worship, book clubs, and small groups. Discussion topics include themes of compassion, empathy, and diversity.



Barnes and Noble


Pat Black-Gould, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and an author. Her short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies.

Many years ago, Pat heard a powerful story that haunted her until she committed it to paper. The Crystal Beads was first published in Jewish Fiction. net in 2020. The short story then won first-place honors in two writing competitions conducted by the National League of American Pen Women, Washington, D.C.

The first was an award by the Pen Women Florida State Association. She then received the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award as part of the National Biennial Letters in Competition. Pat felt it important to bring the story to a younger audience. At that point, she rewrote it as a children’s book. She hopes that The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, will do justice to the story she once heard and carry its message to younger generations.

Pat’s writing explores topics such as compassion, tolerance, and diversity. She continues to examine these themes in her upcoming novel, Limbo of the Moon, written with her co-writer, Steve Hardiman.

For more information, visit



The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Written by Patricia Black-Gould

Illustrated by Katya Royz

The story opens in 1939 Poland. A little girl named Lalka treasures the Star of David necklace that her father gave her shortly before he died. Suddenly, Lalka’s mother asks her to remove it and instead gifts her a set of crystal beads called a rosary. They will be playing a game. Lalka must learn all about its secrets.

Shortly after, Lalka’s mother enrolls her in a convent school where she will live and go to Catholic school. She is confused and upset but follows the instructions her mother had given her. When two men come to interrogate her, Lalka faces a difficult decision.

Gould writes about the holocaust story in a way with which elementary and middle-school readers understand. Readers empathize and absorb its impact through Lalka’s experiences. The book is sensitive and well-written. Royz illustrates it with compassion and tenderness.

The discussion guides for both children and adults are carefully crafted. They provide the tools to assure a fruitful learning environment. Gould also explains how children may become involved as active participants in the Children’s Holocaust Project.

I highly recommend the book to parents and teachers of children ages five through twelve.


Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey!

Four (4) winners receive:

A signed copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey.



Monday, July 11, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Tuesday, July 12, 2022Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview with author Pat Black-Gould
Wednesday, July 13, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Thursday, July 14, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Friday, July 15, 2022Writer with WanderlustA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Monday, July 18, 2022Me Two BooksA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Tuesday, July 19, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Wednesday, July 20, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Thursday, July 21, 2022The Twirling Book PrincessAn article by author Pat Black-Gould
Friday, July 22, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Monday, July 25, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Tuesday, July 26, 2022Shooting Stars MagAn article by author Pat Black-Gould
Wednesday, July 27, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Thursday, July 28, 2022Crafty Moms ShareA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Friday, July 29, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


A Gift from Santa: This is based on a true story

Written and Illustrated by Zuzana Svobodová

It is almost Christmas. Jacob excitedly watches the snowflakes swirling outside his window. He is busy writing his Christmas lists. Jacob wonders if Santa receives gifts. He decides that he will return his appreciation by finding the perfect gift for Santa.

Jacob wants to visit the North Pole but his mother reminds him it is too far and there is not enough time. So Jacob goes to the store with his mom. He cannot find that perfect gift. After thinking hard, Jacob decides that he should give something of his own to Santa. Will he be able to make that sacrifice?

The book is based on a true story. It is a lovely way to teach children about the true spirit of Christmas. Appealing illustrations and a beautiful plot combine to make this picture book a winner for children to listen to each year. Recommended especially for readers ages three through eight but a charmer for any age.

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The Bridge

Written by Kay Bratt


It’s Mother’s Day here in the United States. Whether you celebrate the holiday today or on another day on the calendar, this book expresses the true nature of motherhood.

The book is a short story of approximately seventy pages that will grip you on many levels. Ms. Bratt has spent five years in China and bases her writing experiences on the time she spent there and the love she acquired for the country’s people. She quickly and deftly paints the scene in Suzhou, China, 2010, portraying the old woman named Jing who is now dependent on the generosity of her son for her own survival. Jing is grateful to be able to care for her grandson and cook the meals in exchange for food and shelter over her head. She collects old sweaters and uses scraps of wool to make scarves so that she can save enough money to prepare for her unmarried daughter Qian’s annual trip home for the New Year holidays.

The reader soon senses her generosity of spirit and kindness. Jing notices a young five year old boy sitting on the bridge near her window and watches with sadness as his mother does not return for him. Jing takes him in for the night and realizes that he is blind. She resolves to take him by foot to the orphanage, where she is a familiar character. The reader learns that she has done this many times before. Feeling particularly sad about the vulnerability and susceptibility of this disabled five year old named Fei Fei, Jing is unable to forget him. When she makes a return trip to the orphanage, she finds that he has been neglected. The director agrees to place Fei Fei in her care as a foster parent for three years. Jing doubts she will be able to succeed in taking care of him until he is old enough to be trained properly in a school for blind children, but she knows his survival is dependent upon her. When Jing’s daughter Qian arrives for the holidays, circumstances take another dramatic turn.

The reader learns how the concept of motherhood can change and transform us. Will Fei Fei face a life of misery or will the struggling old woman named Jing somehow succeed in rehabilitating this child who, like many other Chinese children, has been abandoned on the “Lucky Bridge?” I recommend this book to children age eight and up. The story is based on a character that the author met in China. All the characters are well developed; the author explores some very important societal issues as well as the culture of China. This book is a good multicultural addition to a classroom library and introduces children living in the Western hemisphere to Asian traditions.

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