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The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in SiberiaA fascinating memoir about the author’s five year banishment to Siberia. Esther and her family were Jews who lived in Vilna, Poland. At the outset of WWII, when Russia and Germany were still allied, Russian soldiers invaded her town, labeled her family as “capitalists” and shipped them off to be slave laborers in the gypsum mines of Siberia. Esther’s family faced slavery, starvation, frostbite, disease, persecution and the winters of Siberia with courage, resourcefulness and humor. Throughout five long years, their love for each other was the only thing that held them together.

One Fine Day On a slightly unrelated note, the jacket design for the first printing of The Endless Steppe was done by Nonny Hogrogian. She is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Award winning book, One Fine Day. This retelling of an Armenian folktale is one of my favorite children’s books.