Book Review + Giveaway: The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Title: The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey | Author: Pat Black-Gould | Illustrator: Katya Royz | Genre: Picture Book | Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press | ISBN-13: 9781955119207

Book Description: A Star of David necklace or a rosary?

In 1939 Poland, a young girl is asked to give up one of these and accept the other without understanding why. However, what she must part with happens to be her most prized possession—a precious gift given to her by her father before he died.

The child’s mother then teaches the girl a “game” to prepare her for what is to come. As the Nazis invade the country, the mother is forced to make a heartbreaking sacrifice.

This beautifully illustrated picture book is loosely based on a true story. Although told through the eyes of a young girl, the book is written for readers of all ages. It also contains two study guides. One is for children, parents, and teachers. The other is for adults who may gather in places of worship, book clubs, and small groups. Discussion topics include themes of compassion, empathy, and diversity.

My Thoughts: This beautifully-told story centers around Lalka, a young girl who unknowingly prepares to leave her home and live with Catholic nuns during the holocaust. Under the guise of a game, Lalka’s mother teaches her about a religion, unlike her own, that she must practice and learn until it comes naturally. When Lalka is finally tested, her mother’s sweet encouragement compels the girl to withstand incessant questioning from officers who try to make her admit that she is Jewish.

The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey is an emotional story with a heart-wrenching relationship between mother and daughter at its core. The tensions build throughout the pages as the time nears for Lalka and her mother to separate. The mother’s love for the daughter is palpable and gorgeously captured in the scenes between the two. It is a haunting story that will linger long after the last page is turned.

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About the Author: Pat Black-Gould, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and an author. Her short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies.

Many years ago, Pat heard a powerful story that haunted her until she committed it to paper. The Crystal Beads was first published in Jewish Fiction. net in 2020. The short story then won first-place honors in two writing competitions conducted by the National League of American Pen Women, Washington, D.C.

The first was an award by the Pen Women Florida State Association. She then received the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award as part of the National Biennial Letters in Competition. Pat felt it important to bring the story to a younger audience. At that point, she rewrote it as a children’s book. She hopes that The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, will do justice to the story she once heard and carry its message to younger generations.

Pat’s writing explores topics such as compassion, tolerance, and diversity. She continues to examine these themes in her upcoming novel, Limbo of the Moon, written with her co-writer, Steve Hardiman.

Author Website | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads

Giveaway: Enter for a chance to WIN!

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey.

Click here for the entry form: https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/2022/07/the-crystal-beads-lalkas-journey-awareness-tour.

Good luck!


Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 11, 2022
The Children’s Book Review
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Life Is What It’s Called
Interview with author Pat Black-Gould


Wednesday, July 13, 2022
The Momma Spot
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Thursday, July 14, 2022
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Friday, July 15, 2022
Writer with Wanderlust
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Monday, July 18, 2022
Me Two Books
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Tuesday, July 19, 2022
icefairy’s Treasure Chest
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Barbara Ann Mojica
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Thursday, July 21, 2022
The Twirling Book Princess

Article by author Pat Black-Gould


Friday, July 22, 2022
The Fairview Review
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Monday, July 25, 2022
Lisa’s Reading

Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Shooting Stars Mag

Article by author Pat Black-Gould

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
J.R.s Book Reviews

Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Thursday, July 28, 2022
Crafty Moms Share
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Friday, July 29, 2022
Because I Said So
Book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

A sincere thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. I reviewed this book in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Purple Butterfly Press.

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