During a Q and A session with Ooligan staff about Blue Thread, Stephanie Kroll—now with Scholastic in New York (yay!)—leaned over to me and whispered, “It’s a midrash.”
Exactly. OK, some might argue that Stephanie and I are stretching the meaning of this Hebrew word. Midrashim (the plural of midrash) are part of a body of writings that developed over the centuries to expand upon, and explain, the moral, legal, and ethical writings of sacred Jewish texts, particularly the first five books of the Bible—the Torah. Highly educated scholars and rabbis wrote midrashim.
Disclaimer: I am not a rabbi or a highly educated scholar. Still, I think Stephanie is right. A midrash is often a story that offers the reader a way to understand text from a different angle in order to glean new understanding. It’s fair to say that Blue Thread looks at certain people and passages in the Torah from the angle of the woman suffrage campaign in Portland in 1912.
Really? Do you think this makes sense? You’re the reader; you decide. I hope you have fun with Blue Thread. Argue about it. Take from the story whatever resonates with you. Ask questions—or tackle the questions I’ve posed as a reader’s guide. Enjoy.