Ripped Away by Shirley Reva Vernick

Ripped Away transports readers to another time, when Jack the Ripper roamed the streets of London leaving community members frightened and suspicious of each other. And with those suspicions, antisemitic actions and accusations grew.

We experience the story through the eyes of Abe and Mitzy, reluctant friends who find themselves transported from their middle school life in the United States to 1880s London, where they have new identities and new families. As the murder spree ensues, the kids experience first hand the turning tide of hate against Jewish immigrants, all the while trying to discover how to get back home.

Vernick’s writing vividly depicts the streets of London, the grimy living conditions of the city’s working class, and the fear of unjust persecution from a child’s perspective. She balances the grittiness of the circumstances with the age of her audience, letting the characters come across the scenes of the crimes while maintaining distance from the crime itself.

A good read for those who have long outgrown The Magic Treehouse series, Ripped Away can open a child’s eyes to the treatment of immigrants to a community under stress.

Published by Sara Lesley Arnold

Librarian and writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: