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ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 www.patblackgould.com.
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This beautifully written and illustrated book will be emotional for parents and children alike. It was definitely the favorite of all the children’s books I’ve read this year. The powerful story is of a little girl and of the mother who saves her. With WWII upon her, this Jewish mother knows that she and her daughter are not going to be safe. A nearby convent is taking in children to protect them from the Nazis and this mother must prepare her daughter to go there.
The little girl isn’t named in the book and the author isn’t talking about war or Nazis, but adults know what’s going on. The little girl has to trade her Star of David necklace for rosary beads. Her mom tells her that it’s all a game and teaches her about the Catholic faith so that she can really appear to be of that faith if questioned by the Nazis.
This book is sad and tragic, but also triumphant! I highly recommend this children’s book.
Four (4) winners receive:
A copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey.The Crystal Beads: Book Giveaway