The Great Divide

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Ariel is a 12-year-old Jewish girl who’s just gotten startling news. Her older sister Leah is in love with a man. Not just any man—a handsome Hindu named Raj. Their parents are going to plotz.

Ariel’s thoughts are well defined and exactly as you’d expect a young girl’s to be. Her sister and her new beau are swept up in the politics of the day and their grown-up talk leaves Ariel confused. She’s not exactly certain what Leah means when she talks about prejudice or the wretched state of the world. Ariel looks around her neighborhood and sees only sunny skies and happy, smiling people.

But then she remembers certain unsettling incidents befalling her parents, another Jewish family and herself. Ariel is coming to the slow realization that there’s more to the world than the bright, shining surface she knows.

Placed just after the controversial ruling of Loving vs. Virginia that made miscegenation legal, the author takes us through Ariel’s confused thoughts as she struggles to make sense of the ugly tides swirling just beneath the world she thought she knew. It’s a book written for children but on a topic that may resonate with older readerships.