The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey 

by Pat Black-Gould illustrated by Katya Royz 

Purple Butterfly Press

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, is a Holocaust story—one that probably happened frequently during those dark years. But unlike many Holocaust accounts, this story is told through the eyes of an innocent child. The mother knows danger approaches, but keeps the fear and terror from her daughter. She trades the child’s Star of David necklace for a rosary and plays games so her child may learn the Catholic prayers, songs, and vocabulary. Danger looms closer and Lalka must leave her home and live at a convent under the care and protection of brave Sister Teresa. Lalka’s grooming is tested when Gestapo officers interrogate the child. We can only assume the worst for Lalka’s mother, but because of courage, grace, and faith, the child’s disguise holds.

The illustrations have a vintage appeal, taking the reader into the journey from golden light to cold gloom.  

Pat Black-Gould has told a powerful story in the voice of an innocent. Like so many children of the Holocaust, innocence was robbed. The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, is a perfect addition to school and home libraries and would supplement the studies of history and the Holocaust. 

I am trying my hand in writing book reviews. Writers are first readers. It is important to share book reviews so that fellow readers may be able to find their next great read. Bunches of thanks go out to  Deb from Deb’s WorldJo from And Anyways, Donna from Retirement Reflections and Sue from Women Living Well After 50 for co-hosting the Whats on Your Bookshelf Challenge. Every third Thursday PM (Northern Hemisphere)/ Every third Friday PM (Southern Hemisphere) of the month, one can share in the comments, a blog post, or on other social media platform. Join in and be sure to include the hashtag #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge so your link is included in the posts.

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 

Pray for peace. 

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If you had purchased a paperback or ebook The Heart of Bakers and Artists, The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers and/or Becoming America’s Food StoriesThank you!

Help your fellow book club friends and bibliophiles find a great read by leaving a review on Amazon and in your Goodreads account. Here are the helpful links:

The Heart of Bakers and Artists

The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers

Becoming America’s Food Stories

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

9 thoughts

  1. I sat and thought about my response to this for way longer than I normally would, and all I can come up with is what an important book that one is. I can only imagine how the illustrations take the reader on Lalka’s journey, but can’t imagine how that author could tell the story through the eyes of a child, but how important it is that they did. Thanks for linking this one up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for linking up with us Antoinette. As others have said this book sounds like one we should all tread but also a hard one to read. Thank you for your insightful review.


  3. You did a beautiful job with this review, Antoinette. Of course, since I’m the author, I’m a bit partial. But your review style gives readers a feel for the mood and setting and what the characters are experiencing.

    Liked by 1 person

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