This Old Thing?: The Endless Steppe

When I saw The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig  on my shelf, I knew it was perfect for today. See that through my window? That's snow. Snow! The cover of The Endless Steppe is appropriate for the day.

There was another reason I chose it though. With the Buy Books for the Holidays campaign underway, we're starting to think of books for our loved ones. My parents bought me this book for Christmas when I was a teen. I've kept it all these years, I loved it so much. Esther tells of her experience of living in a work camp in Siberia during World War II. She was Jewish and her family very wealthy but after the Russian occupation all that changed. Even though Esther and I are different people, I related to her. She had the same teen angst I had. She worried about her looks, she had a crush, and a frenemy. Of course, these trials are small in comparison to the harshness of life in the camp. After all this time, so much of it stands out in my mind. I really should reread it.

If you have a young person in your life, I encourage you to find The Endless Steppe and buy it for them.


  1. I've never heard of that book, but it sounds quite good. I think I'll have to keep my eyes open for it - thanks for featuring it on This Old Thing. :)

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  3. It does seem like the perfect book to choose for a snowy day! It's a neat cover, too.

  4. Sounds like a good book! I have never heard of it before.

    We never did get any snow. I love when the Weather Channel is wrong! (Well, sometimes!)

  5. Oh, yes. Great book! I read it many years ago after a neighbor recommended it to me. I had totally forgotten about it. But I really shouldn't. It's a great one.

  6. I put this on my list for the Shelf Discovery challenge. I loved it as a kid, as you pointed out, even though we didn't go thru the horrors of the main character, we could relate to her as a person.

    Lucky you, to have the copy you got as a kid!

    The author passed away just this past week, had you seen that news?

  7. i've never read this book but know how books can be links to childhood. :)

    as for the snow, yikes! it was unseasonably warm in NJ today--we had the windows open and the chili i made for dinner was almost too hot and heavy to enjoy!

    keep warm. :)

  8. Dawn- I hadn't heard that news. What a sad coincidence.

  9. SNOW?? Egads. How horrible is that?? I have been pleasantly surprised with our weather. Today it was over 70 degrees!! Completely gorgeous out. Even tonight, it has only dropped to 55.

    I haven't heard of this book before. But my whole family is getting books for Christmas. I met with Chad's reading teacher this week. His class is reading The Outsiders right now!! Now THAT was one of my favorite books as a teen. Sigh...I still love that book!

  10. I remember this book. I think I kept my copy, too, somewhere. Possibly it was the first memoir I ever read--and I didn't even realize it at the time. For years I thought it was fiction! Oh yes, this was an eye-opening read (regardless of whether it was fiction or not) to someone as sheltered as I was growing up.


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