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Homeward from the Steppes of the Sun

This is the childhood and coming-of-age story of Eliusha, a five-year-old boy from Kostopol (then USSR) whose family is forced to flee to Jambul, in south Kazakhstan, at the beginning of World War II. While his father joins the Russian army fighting the Nazis, Eliusha, together with his mother, twin sisters and baby brother have to adapt to a new way of life. This urban family, which was used to a high standard of living, now finds itself living in a mud hut in a small village, where they have to light the stove with cow dung, fetch drinking water from the river and catch their food. But the repercussions of war barely reach them, and although they worry about father, they adjust quite well and make friends.

When news arrives that father has died, mother decides to leave this “paradise” (as Eliusha calls it) and immigrate to the Land of Israel. On their way, they have to cope with life in refugee camps and the hardships of illegal immigration, and once they arrive they must adjust to life on the kibbutz.

Inspired by the true story of Eli Paz-Poznik, this book portrays the impact of war from a perspective that is new to most readers.

Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese
Title Homeward from the Steppes of the Sun
Writer's Last Name Orlev
Writer's First Name Uri
Genre Children
Ages 8 up
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 163pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Habayta Me-Aravot Ha-Shemesh