LUCKY BROKEN GIRL
by Ruth Behar
I don't know if it is the timeliness of this book or just the heart of Ruthie, but this book touched me profoundly.
The author's timing couldn't have been more perfect, though as an Anthropologist I think she may have thought about the affect it might have this highly politicized world we are living in.
The story of Ruthie Mizrahi, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant who is just beginning to realize her "American Dream", is forever changed in the blink of an eye when an accident leaves her in a body cast. A richly painted book...while reading "Lucky Broken Girl", you achieve a vibrant, "fully colored" view of the world around her through Ruthie's eyes....a world that goes suddenly grey.
This book should be required reading in every high school - the historic setting will compliment any school lessons, and it teaches so many lessons that developing humans should learn:
Going beyond the tolerance of people different than us to embracing the things that make us different;
The ways in which a relationship changes when you go from parent to caretaker;
How when your world shrinks to the size of a room, the smallest gesture means so much;
The very real battle to find forgiveness;
...and the immensely fulfilling role the arts can play when we move the focus from ourselves.
If this freshman effort is any indication, I personally can't wait for more from Ruth Behar!
DESCRIPTION via Amazon:
“A book for anyone mending from childhood wounds.”—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street
In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative—based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s—a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.
Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Ruth Behar (www.ruthbehar.com) is an acclaimed author of adult fiction and nonfiction, and Lucky Broken Girl is her first book for young readers. She was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York City, and has also lived and worked in Spain and Mexico. An anthropology professor at the University of Michigan, she is also co-editor of Women Writing Culture, editor of Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba, and co-editor of The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World. Her honors include a MacArthur “Genius” Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. Much in demand as a public speaker, Ruth’s speaking engagements have taken her to the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Finland, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Poland, England, the Netherlands, Japan, and New Zealand. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.