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Swans from Another Lake

Teenage Noga and her mother have left their kibbutz to join Noga’s father in London. Two worlds converge when Noga meets her cousin, Miriam. Noga has never so much as seen a film, much less all that makes up a glamorous city like London. She is Israeli and secular; Miriam is British and religious, sophisticated and wise to the ways of diaspora Jews. They become friends, after a fashion. Each has a rich store of views and enthusiasms, but most of these diverge.

Noga doesn’t know what to do with all the forks on Miriam’s table. Miriam will not walk in the street eating food. They fight about the existence of God and the creation of the universe and the proprietry of swimming in public baths. Noga is used to feeling confident and sure of her ground, but now she often backs down. When sent to Miriam’s religious school she pretends observance and is terrified that she’ll be found out. The rigid English school makes Noga miserable. Noga is exposed to questions of identity, religion, loyalty and even manners. As she begins to re-evaluate certainties held dear since childhood, Noga grows and develops. This is not only a good story about moving to a different country, but also a credible account of growing up.

Title Swans from Another Lake
Writer's Last Name Givati
Writer's First Name Roni
Genre Children
Ages 11-13
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim
No. Pages 112pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Barburim Me-Agam Acher