Yossi Mendelsohn works hard to help his family survive after they flee Russia to find a better life in Montreal. He sells newspapers and carries bundles from the garment factory. Yossi longs to play le hockey with the French boys, but he has no skates. When his father falls ill and his sister and her fiance organize a walkout at the factory, Yossi's dream of lacing on skates seems farther away than ever.
Ellen Schwartz's grandparents emigrated to North America at about the same time, and in similar circumstances, as Yossi's family. In order to learn about early Jewish immigrant life, she did lots of research in Montreal, a city that she loves. Ellen is the author of many books for children including Jesse's Star (Orca), the first book about the irrepressible Yossi. She lives in Burnaby, British Columbia.