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Shirley Vernick

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The Blood Lie
by Shirley Vernick  Shirley Reva Vernick 

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Young Adult/Teen

Publisher:  Cinco Puntos Press ISBN-10:  1933693842 Type: 

ISBN-13:  9781933693842

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Based on true events, The Blood Lie tells the story of a hate crime that transformed the lives of several teenagers in 1920s New York State.

The Blood Lie

by Shirley Reva Vernick

Little Daisy Durham is missing. 

It’s 1928, it’s Jack Pool’s 16th birthday, and he’s about to be accused of murder.    

 A talented cellist with a promising future, Jack daydreams about two things: becoming a professional musician and kissing Emaline Durham—a girl he knows he can never be with. Life in the isolated village of Massena, New York, affords Jack plenty of time for his fantasies. But when little Daisy—Emaline’s sister—disappears in Paradise Woods, a seething lie turns his world into a living nightmare.

Inspired by true events, The Blood Lie sheds new light on a dark but little-known episode in American history: the day a town’s veiled prejudices erupted into a raging blood libel. 

Professional Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
When little Daisy Durham disappears, an innocent Jewish boy is called a murderer.

In upstate New York in 1928, 16-year-old Jack Pool knows there’s no hope for a romance with beautiful Emaline Durham, Daisy’s older sister. They inhabit different worlds, and the gold crucifix she wears stands between them “like an electrified fence, all glittery and metallic.” Jack is Jewish, and Daisy’s disappearance sparks an ugly episode of prejudice and intolerance in the little town of Massena. Flames of prejudice are fanned by local bigot Gus Poulos, who spreads age-old tales of the blood lie and how Daisy was probably sacrificed, her blood used in mysterious Jewish rituals. But Gus has personal reasons for inflaming passions and involving the police, and things get out of hand when Jewish-owned businesses are searched, the temple is raided and someone kills all of the Pool family chickens. Based on an actual incident in Massena in 1928, the slim novel effectively mines layers of ignorance, fear, intolerance and manipulation, and it connects the incident to Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic writing and to the lynching of Jewish businessman Leo Frank in 1915.

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