A Shout in the Sunshine

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  • Mara W. Cohen Ioannides (author)
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About the Book

Ages 10 and up.

Set in 15th-century Greece, this young adult novel tells the story of an extraordinary friendship between two boys from different cultural backgrounds. On the surface, Miguel, a refugee from post-Inquisition Spain, and David, the son of a wealthy Greek Jewish fabric merchant, have little in common. As they work together in David’s family shop, they find they share a special connection that goes beyond the divide of rich and poor, Spanish and Greek. Will an argument over David’s sister be more than their friendship can bear?

A Shout in the Sunshine sheds light on an often forgotten part of Jewish history – the Greek Jewish experience. Set in tumultuous times for the Greek Jewish community, the book explores what happens when two distinct Jewish communities must learn to live together. In 1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled the Jewish community of Spain. Sultan Beyazit II invited these refugees to Thessalonika, a community already home to a diverse Jewish population with deep roots in Greece. The melding of these different Jewish groups created a vibrant Jewish community that was, tragically, almost entirely destroyed during World War II. This book is a testimony to the remarkable nature of this once thriving world.


2007 Jewish Book Award Finalist

Skipping Stones Honor Award


Ioannides brings to life the ambiance and customs of the exotic multilingual Romaniote [congregation] as it copes with the influx of Ashkenazic, Provencal, Venetian and Sephardic Jews . . . well-crafted and intricately plotted.

—Hadassah Magazine

The plot is fast-paced and rich in detail…. Avid readers of historical fiction are the most likely audience for [this] story. The reward is a fascinating glimpse into a little-explored part of the Jewish historical experience.

– Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

Mara W. Cohen Ioannides

Mara W. Cohen Ioannides is the author of A Shout in the Sunshine, editor of the only published manuscript on the Jews of the Ozarks, and co-director of “Home, Community, Tradition: The Women of Temple Israel” (a documentary about the Jewish women of Springfield, MO). She is a 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award Winner, a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, and a two-time American Jewish Archives Fellow.

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