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Orca SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) HONOR through March 2023

Miriam's Secret
By (author): Debby Waldman
Debby Waldman


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Trade, Adhesive bound, Laminated cover
Paperback , Trade, Adhesive bound, Laminated cover


Juvenile: Age (years) 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) 4 - 7, Grade (US) 4 - 7, Reading age 9 - 12
Oct 17, 2017
$10.95 CAD


7.5in x 5 x 0.5 in | 220 gr

Page Count:

208 pages
FSC certified – mixed sources C103567
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century
Children’s / Teenage fiction: Historical fiction|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Friends and friendships|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Runaways|1929 to c 1939 (period of the Great Depression)|Interest age: from c 9 years|Passover (Pesach)
New York
jC813/.6 23
Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year 2018, Commended CCBC Best Books 2018, Commended Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award 2018, Short-listed
  • Short Description
In this middle-grade novel, Miriam discovers a young girl hiding in the barn while she's spending Passover at her grandparents' farm.
Passover this year was not all at what Miriam expected.

In 1930 nine-year-old Miriam travels by train from Brooklyn to her grandparents' farm in upstate New York.

Her grandparents are kind, generous people, but they aren't exactly ideal playmates for a lonely girl. When Miriam is not doing homework in the kitchen with Bubby or helping prepare meals for the migrant workers that Zayde hires to help out on the farm, she plays with the barn kittens born just before she arrived. Those kittens are her only friends, until the day Miriam discovers a young girl hiding in the barn. Cissy and her brother, Joe, who's one of Zayde's farm hands, are on the run from an abusive uncle back in Mississippi. Miriam and Cissy hit it off immediately. But their friendship is tested when Miriam is forced to choose between keeping a promise and doing the right thing.

Debby Waldman is the author of a number of children's books including A Sack Full of Feathers Miriam’s Secret and has written for publications including People, Publishers Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for Kids. An educator, she has taught writing and journalism at Cornell University, Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University and Grant MacEwan University. Since 2011 she has been a writing advisor at the Academic Success Centre at the University of Alberta. She lives in Edmonton.

"A wonderful, tantalizing and tender tale about how, despite our differences, we all long for the same things: friendship, connection and a sense of purpose." - Monique Polak, award-winning author of What World Is Left

"An endearing story about the power of acceptance." - Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, award-winning author of Making Bombs for Hitler

"In this heart-warming novel about a secret friendship, Debby Waldman tells a story bound up in America's history of depression-era hobos. As Miriam grapples with keeping her friend's secret or doing the right thing, Waldman adeptly brings history alive, painting an engaging portrait of minorities in a small town and showing that cultural differences can bring people together." - Leanne Lieberman, author of The Most Dangerous Thing

"A warmhearted holiday tale successfully portrays an underrepresented corner of American Judaism." - Kirkus Review

"All will enjoy this gentle novel, which furthers goodwill and understanding. Highly Recommended. " - CM Magazine

"Filled to the brim with literary devices like foreshadowing, imagery, and similes, this title will be a welcome addition to any elementary school teacher's language arts block…It also lends itself to a discussion of diversity and tolerance. Recommended" - School Library Connection

"Waldman's gentle story speaks to the difficulties of being an ethnic or religious minority, as well as the travails of being underemployed during the Great Depression." - Booklist

"The book is a nice read that includes a sort of comparison of lifestyles: rural versus urban, Northern United States versus Southern United States, and immigrant verses native-born. It also gives readers a nice peek into Jewish culture and traditions, from the Yiddish monikers for grandma and grandpa to the holidays of Purim and Passover to foods like Hamantaschen. The story provides the opportunity to teach children about secrets: knowing when it's ok to keep a secret and knowing when they need to tell a trusted adult." - Resource Links

"Waldman's warm, loving depiction of a Russian Jewish family during the Depression is a cozy read that will be treasured by young readers, many of whom will relate to the fish-out-of-water element of her story." - IndiePicks Magazine

"Miriam's Secret is a fast-paced story that hooks the reader right from the start. It's the perfect friendship tale for ages 8 to 12." - Jewish Book Council

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Also Available

Weird Rules to Follow Kim Spencer 9781459835580 $12.95 CAD Oct 18, 2022
Room Enough for Daisy Debby Waldman 9781554692552 $19.95 CAD Oct 01, 2011
Clever Rachel Debby Waldman 9781554690817 $19.95 CAD Oct 01, 2009
A Sack Full of Feathers Debby Waldman 9781551438634 $9.95 CAD Sep 01, 2007

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