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Homeward from the Steppes of the Sun

Uri Orlev
AGE: 8 up

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.


Orlev Homeward from the Steppes of  the Sun
Title Homeward from the Steppes of the Sun
Author’s Last Name Orlev
Author's First Name Uri
Language(s) Hebrew, German, French, Italian, Czech, Japanese
Genre youth
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2010
No. Pages 163 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Habayta Me-Aravot Ha-Shemesh
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Weinheim, Beltz & Gelberg, 2011
Italian: Milan, Salani, 2011; 2014; Milan, Centauria, 2016 
French: Paris, Flammarion/Pere Castor, 2012
Japanese: Tokyo, Iwanami Shoten, 2014
Czech: Prague, Práh, 2017

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