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Everyone Sleeps Between Two and Four

In this book Raya Harnik recounts what it was like to be a little girl in Tel Aviv in the year preceding World War II. Part of the book’s charm lies in the character of the narrator, a girl aged five going on six, who reports in detail about herself, her family, life in the Tel Aviv of those days, and also about the events taking place in the world, even if she doesn’t always understand their greater significance. Raya’s is not an ordinary family. Her parents immigrated from Germany and still retain their language and customs, very different to the local ones, which they brought with them from their country of origin. At home they eat off china plates, father wears a starched shirt and tie, and grandfather, who arrived from Germany following Kristallnacht, warns that “between two and four there must be silence,” because that’s when people rest, and in general children should be seen but not heard. There is also talk of a man named Hitler, who is preparing the German army for war, and little Raya does not understand how it is possible that in his youth her grandfather was a soldier in that army. With lighthearted nostalgia, the author describes how Grandfather tried to find employment in Tel Aviv. Dressed in a European suit at the height of summer, he walked with his granddaughter along the broiling streets of Tel Aviv, peddling a pesticide, but he found no buyers for his wares in the Mediterranean city, where children only eat one egg a week. When Raya enters first grade, the war breaks out and along with the innocent and optimistic children’s songs taught in school, the girl learns “what you need to do when there is a war on in the world.”

Title Everyone Sleeps Between Two and Four
Writer's Last Name Harnik
Writer's First Name Raya
Genre Children
Ages 6-9
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
No. Pages 80pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ben Shtaim Le-Arba Tzarich Lihiyot Sheket