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  Home > Kids Books > Multi-Cultural >

The Gift
The Gift
Our Price: $11.66
Author: Joseph Kertes
Format: Hardcover

Product Code: 14395

Immigrant children and other outsiders will recognize the yearning and the embarrassment in this autobiographical story about a Jewish boy who buys the wrong Christmas gift for his friend. Newly arrived in Canada from Hungary in the late 1950s, Jacob Beck lives in an immigrant neighborhood, but he desperately wants to be British Canadian, and at Christmas he longs to be Christian. Everywhere, even at school, there are angels and mangers and Christmas foods. Then his best friend asks Jacob to his house for Christmas dinner, and Jacob rushes out to buy a gift. Tension builds until his friend opens the present--and it's all wrong. Peter Perko's ink and graphite illustrations with delicate color capture the family and neighborhood scenes and the dazzling store windows. But despite the small picture-book format and the child's first-person narrative, this is a subtle story, which even older students might want to talk about at holiday times: that experience of cultural displacement, those times when you tried so hard and just didn't get it. The ending is beautifully understated: angry and tearful, Jacob rushes back home, and--for the first time--he sees the Hanukkah lights.

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