The Word Guild: The Stoplights of Life by Ruth Smith …
This achingly beautiful story shows a true master of writing at her very best. Edward Tulane is an exceedingly vain, cold-hearted china rabbit owned by 10-year-old Abilene Tulane, who dearly loves him. Her grandmother relates a fairy tale about a princess who never felt love; she then whispers to Edward that he disappoints her. His path to redemption begins when he falls overboard during the familys ocean journey. Sinking to the bottom of the sea where he will spend 297 days, Edward feels his first emotion—fear. Caught in a fishermans net, he lives with the old man and his wife and begins to care about his humans. Then their adult daughter takes him to the dump, where a dog and a hobo find him. They ride the rails together until Edward is cruelly separated from them. His heart is truly broken when next owner, four-year-old Sarah Ruth, dies. He recalls Abilenes grandmother with a new sense of humility, wishing she knew that he has learned to love. When his head is shattered by an angry man, Edward wants to join Sarah Ruth but those he has loved convince him to live. Repaired by a doll store owner, he closes his heart to love, as it is too painful, until a wise doll tells him that he that he must open his heart for someone to love him. This superb book is beautifully written in spare yet stirring language. The tender look at the changes from arrogance to grateful loving is perfectly delineated. Ibatoullines lovely sepia-toned gouache illustrations and beautifully rendered color plates are exquisite. An ever-so-marvelous tale. (, starred review)
The Stoplights of Life by Ruth Smith Meyer ..
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The death ofRuth's father shattered her world in two parts, "the world of my father,which was the world of death and which was beautiful, and the world ofconfusion and explosive weeping which I repudiated" (Mead, 1959 p.99).
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Summary: When World War II ends, Ruth is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, Ruth searches for her lost family members among a sea of displaced persons trying to find each other and a new purpose. Israel is the promised land in more ways than one, and Ruth’s motivation to join those on this exodus from Poland comes from being enlisted to the cause as opposed to religious fervour. Along the way, Ruth slowly faces the horrors she has experienced, watching the reactions of others while dealing with her own, searching like everyone else for a place without hatred, where she can finally be safe.
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