Key From Spain Flory Jagoda and Her Music (The Key From Spain)


When Flory's ancestors are forced to leave Spain during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, they take with them their two most precious possessions―the key to their old house and the Ladino language. When Flory flees Europe during World War II to begin a new life in the United States, she carries Ladino with her, along with her other precious possessions―her harmoniku and her music. But what of the key? Discover the story of Ladino singer Flory Jagoda.---from the publisher

32 pages                  978-1541522190                           Ages 5-9

Keywords:  Jewish, immigrants, history, family, music, Spain, prejudice, discrimination, World War II, hope, perseverance, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, courage, journey, biography, performing arts, Sephardim


We hear a lot in the news these days about immigration and people who are coming to the U.S. to make a better life for themselves and their families.  They bring with them their heritage and their family traditions.  That is a familiar story these days and that's similar to the story here about a Jewish family who lived in Spain a long, long time ago.

Their last name was Altaras.  This family lived in Spain for generations.  It was a time when Muslims, Jewish and Christian people all lived together as neighbors.  But in 1492 when the Christians attacked Spain, all of the Jewish people were told to leave Spain.  They weren't welcome any more.

I wonder how it felt to be told you couldn't live in your own country because of your religion?  I wonder how it felt to move from Spain to Turkey?  I wonder how many of their things they could bring with them and how many of their things they had to leave behind?

This is a story about one family and it's a story about many families.  This is a story about fleeing to stay alive.  It's a story about having the courage to start over somewhere else where you might not know anyone.  This is a story about family heritage and how it can hold you and keep you strong.  This is a story about the power of music and how it can always be with you.

One woman came out of the Altaras family and moved to the United States in 1946 just after World War II to begin a new life and to create a new family.  She brought her courage and a special key with her to this new country.

Gorgeous illustrations make this book warm and filled with family and love and the goodness of human beings just as the narrative tells a story of the prejudice, the hardships, the danger and the darkness created by others over centuries.

A great discussion starter about immigration, about prejudice and about understanding others.

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,

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