Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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Lovely story from child's point of view
Sunday, 02 January 2011 10:58

By Estelle Miller

I was charmed by the voice of the author as a young child. Her recollections were so vivid coupled with affection for family and close friends and of course anger and hurt when indicated by life out of control. I wanted to join her to participate in her story.  Jeanne Simonoff is a talented writer who I hope to see more of in the future.

A Truly Special Book, a Poetic Memoir...
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 11:03

Douglas Gruenau

This is a truly special book, a poetic memoir that explores a child's experience with the death of a parent and later bullying by a classmate. Remembered from the child's perspective you experience the loss and fear, then as an adult with celebration in a joyful community with rituals that bring a sense of fulfillment.

Jeanne Simonoff''s Little Classic is a Winner!
Monday, 06 December 2010 17:00

By Valerie Stocking "Author and Playwright" (Santa Fe, NM USA)

This is an extremely lyrical memoir of growing up in Los Angeles during the 1940's and '50's. Simonoff tells her story with great warmth and no self-pity, as she details being marginalized in a non-Jewish neighborhood. But this book is much, much more than an epic of anti-Semitism. Simonoff delves into her family, their relationships with her and with each other. Her courageous protest of the disappearance of both of her parents, despite reassurances that her father would return, resulted in Simonoff's conversion to Queen Stinky, who refused to bathe or eat until her father came home.

Poetic Remembrance of Childhood's Vision, Dreams, and Understanding
Monday, 22 November 2010 17:00

By zebramoon

Jeanne Simonoff's memoir of growing up in Los Angeles reads like a poem. Simonoff unfolds her story with a simplicity and beauty that captures the mood and feel of her early years with no need to overly describe or explain any incident. Quietly, and without pretense, she paints a picture that easily draws the reader into the heart of the world of her younger self. With a few lyrical strokes Simonoff is able to navigate the wonder and dismay of the momentous, and everyday, events of those years carrying the reader along with her as she searches for the understanding that can come when wisdom and acceptance reflect back through the years. It is a moving journey and I was glad her memoir allowed me a window into it.

Thursday, 18 November 2010 17:00

By janetruth

Jeanne Simonoff's memoir, Saving Myself, is a childhood story, that, in some way, we can all relate to. It took me back to my own childhood friendships. It portrays how a child tries to relate to what is happening in the word of adults around them with the people they love with tenderness.

This memoir reads like a poem, but not the kind of poem that gets you lost in abstractions. It is the kind of poem that takes you into the heart of a life, lets you sit there, roam around, play, laugh, cry and finally find a way to figure it all out.

This is a must read for anyone interested in their own life. Congratulations Jeanne Simonoff -- for your book, the courage to tell your story and for letting us know that at some point -- it will all make sense.

Childhood Grief
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 17:00

By Dia Winograd

Saving Myself so captures the deep grief of a child in a child's world of fantasy, dreams and reality with the boundaries between them blurred. I found it tender without being overly sentimental. It would be helpful reading for anyone who is called upon to assist a grieving child.

A Stunning Little Book
Sunday, 07 November 2010 17:00

By Carol Lombardi

I followed my routine with a new book - I opened it to a random page and read a few paragraphs, then to another random page, etc. Then I carried it around and kept it next to me wherever I sat like a little bible or remembrance of something. After a couple of days, I started at the beginning and read it. I was stunned. It only covered your early childhood, not what I expected. And it was so complete and contained within that span. It was wonderful, and almost sad, and almost scary, but your little girl kept it from falling off the cliff. I was stunned because it was a stunning little book.

A Beautifully Written Testament
Monday, 01 November 2010 17:00

By Darlene A. Rubin

Saving Myself is a nostalgic, heartwarming, yet often sad, reminiscence of the Los Angeles I grew up in. Jeannie and I were classmates and friends from our earliest days at Delevan Drive Elementary, and while I always felt that we grew up at the perfect time in history, when life was sweeter and simpler and kids spent their days unafraid playing in tall grass beneath the warm California sun, Jeanne reminds readers that was not always the case. She recounts other days when prejudice displayed itself in hurtful attacks that left her frightened and not understanding why such hate was being directed at her. Yet, despite those monumentally unhappy experiences, Jeanne writes of the warming bonds of love, of music, of friendship, and of her faith that left their deep and lasting impression on her as a grown woman. Saving Myself is a beautifully written testament of the many forces that shape our lives and, I believe, forces that might have destroyed others, have made Jeanne a remarkable human being.

Wonderful Insight Into the Thinking of a Child
Sunday, 31 October 2010 17:00

By Kin Macbeth (florida)

Jeanne Simonoff does a great job of showing the thinking of small children in this memoir. Even though Jeanne shows the guilt and the confusion created in her two (almost three-year-old) mind her family's well-intentioned statement that her mother, who has died, has gone to Chicago, this is not another memoir about growing up with an insensitive family. Instead, we meet a wonderful stepmother, whom she and her father both marry and who always wanted a little girl just like her. This is a beautiful story.

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