Set in 15th-century Greece, this young adult vel 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.
Mara W. Cohen Ioannides is a lecturer in English composition and Jewish studies at Missouri State University. This is her first novel.