Ignored yet again by his crush, Abe Pearlman wanders into Fortunes and Futures for a little diversion. The fortune teller reveals that Abe may be able to save someone’s life. But before he can ask any questions, he’s swept to the slums of Victorian London, where he finds that his crush, Mitzy Singer, has also been banished. Abe and Mitzy soon discover that they’ve been plunked down in the middle of the Jack the Ripper spree. To get back home, they’ll have to work together to figure out how the fortune teller’s prophecy is connected to one of history’s most notorious criminal cases. They’ll also have to survive the outpouring of hate toward Jewish refugees that the Ripper murders triggered. Ripped Away is based on real historical events, including the Ripper crimes, the inquests, and the accusations against immigrants.
About the Author
Shirley Reva Vernick writes award-winning MG and YA fiction, including ALA Best Fiction pick and Sydney Taylor honor book The Blood Lie. Her essays have appeared in Salon, Cosmopolitan, literary journals, and city newspapers. Shirley also helps run Storybee.com, a storytelling web service that is used as a literacy tool on five continents. NASA used it as a model for its Imagine Mars program, which combined storytelling and science for K-12 students.
"An engrossing adventure. From the moment Abe and Mitzy are swept back in time to the infamous Jack the Ripper murders, readers will clamor to find out what happens next." —Anne Blankman, National Jewish Book Award-winning author of The Blackbird Girls and Prisoner of Night and Fog
"Vernick’s clever use of a modern voice as foil for the Ripper’s infamous murders perfectly complements the burgeoning friendship between time-displaced tweens amidst nineteenth century poverty and persecution." —Dianne Salerni, author of Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts, a Jr. Library Guild Gold Standard selection
"Ripped Away is a rare, eye-opening novel that seamlessly blends fantasy, contemporary and historical fiction to illuminate the challenges teens face today with the horrors of the little-known blood libel brought upon London’s East End Jews during the time of Jack the Ripper. It’s a bold story few of us would ever know without Vernick’s meticulous research, masterful storytelling, and her fierce determination to share truth and make sure that antisemitism is not omitted or erased from that history." —Liza Wiemer, author of The Assignment, a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable YA novel and 2021 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
"Ripped Away is many things at once: a crackingly good, gaslit, time travel mystery packed with rich historical detail that also shines an important light on a lesser-known episode of anti-Semitism. This is the sort of book that makes lifelong readers out of reluctant ones." —Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King
"Charming and inventive, Ripped Away transports the reader from modern-day America to the dark and dangerous of alleys of London during the terror reign of Jack the Ripper. It’s Back to the Future through the eyes of young Abe Pearlman, a plucky, lovesick hero who doesn’t realize that he’s heroic." —Steven Mayfield, Mari Sandoz Prize-winning author of Treasure of the Blue Whale and Howling at the Moon
"A time-bending, body-swapping, history-mystery, Ripped Away will have young readers eagerly turning pages." —David Michael Slater, Montaigne Medal/Eric Hoffer Award finalist and author of Forbidden Books and Sparks
"This engrossing and well-paced read is perfect for those who love a combination of history and mystery."--Jessica Sender, Jewish Book Council
"This quick page-turner will captivate young readers. Vernick mixes fantasy, a bit of mystery, and historical fiction bring middle school readers a story of Jewish life in London's East End in the late 1880s."—Rebekah Buchanan, School Library Journal