Laurie Wallmark
Rivka's Presents

In this heartwarming story about the importance of community, a little Jewish girl living on the Lower East Side during the flu pandemic of 1918 can't start school because her father is sick, so she makes a trade with her neighbors: chores for lessons.

It's 1918 on the Lower East Side of New York City, and Rivka is excited to start school. But when her father gets sick with the flu, her mama has to go to work at the shirtwaist factory and Rivka needs to stay home and take care of her little sister. But Rivka figures out a way to learn anyway: she trades chores with the grocer, the tailor, and an elderly neighbor for lessons. As the seasons change, Rivka finds she can count pennies for the iceman and read the labels on jars of preserve. And one day, papa is no longer sick, and Rivka can finally start school! Full kindness and love for your neighbors, here is a story that introduces life on the Lower East side for a Jewish family during the flu pandemic of 1918.

The Center for Children’s Literature Best Children’s Books of the Year (2024 edition)
Bank Street's Best Children's Books of 2023-Holiday Edition
Keystone to Reading Intermediate Book Awards List

Curriculum Guide
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"unexpectedly endearing picture book."
-- Booklist (starred review)
"A unique book that would be a great asset to collections."
-- School Library Journal
"this tale will be at home in any discussions about American immigration"
-- The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

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