Andrea Totaro

(December 7,1982)

A Lesson From 'Candlelight For Rebecca'


In 'Candlelight For Rebecca, ' Rebecca Rubin's decision
To obey her Gentile teacher Miss Maloney
By making a Christmas centerpiece
Even though she is Jewish
Teaches that there is a time
To stand up to authority
And a time to obey authority.

Submitted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Edited: Friday, May 24, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

In 'Candlelight For Rebecca' (a Historical American Girl book which takes place in December 1914) , a nine-year-old Jewish girl named Rebecca Rubin- along with her classmates- is assigned by Miss Maloney to make a table decoration for Christmas; she chooses to do the project despite her grandfather having told her about being courageous enough to stand up to authorities who don't respect your beliefs and want you to be like them. Later, Rebecca realizes she did the right thing when her grandmother not only loved the homemade centerpiece (despite having voiced her disapproval of Christmas two days ago) but also told her she must obey Miss Maloney because she is the teacher; in the end, the decoration ended up becoming a Christmas present for Mr. Rossi- a neighbor of Rebecca's. It's a really great book!

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