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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
A heartbreaking episode in history, explained through the story of a young servant girl in the late 1800s.

The year is 1882. A young servant girl named Esther disappears from a small Hungarian village. Several Jewish men from the village of Tisza Eszvar face the ‘blood libel’ — the centuries-old calumny that Jews murder Christian children for their blood. A fourteen-year-ol
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published January 13th 2009 by Tundra Books
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(showing 1-30 of 595)
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I got this book free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

An excellent Jewish historical fiction, centered around a "blood libel" trial which occurred in Hungary in the 1880s. A local village girl, Esther, disappeared and the Jewish community was accused of killing her to use her blood for matzoh. One teenage Jewish boy, Morris Scharf (actually Moric; most of the names in the novel have been Anglicized), was suborned into falsely testifying against everyone else, including his own father.

The story
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This riveting novel is the story of the last "blood libel trial"--i.e., a trial accusing Jews of killing Christians for their blood--in Europe. Set in a Hungarian village from 1882 to 1883, the tale unfolds through the eyes of Julie, a poor teenager who lives with her sickly mother, little sister, and ill-tempered drunken father. Esther, the gentile girl who disappears and is presumed dead, is Julie's best friend. Wild with grief, Esther's mother refuses to believe that a body found later is her ...more
Shelley Daugherty
Aug 03, 2013 Shelley Daugherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I originally selected this book, I did not notice that the focus time period was 1882. I thought I was selecting a book about the persecution of the Jews in World War II. After I realized the story took place many years before WWII I was even more intrigued by the story.

A young girl disappears from her small Hungarian village. Everyone in the town is quick to blame the Jews for her death even though a body has not been found. Julie, a good friend of the girl who vanished remembers that she
Oct 30, 2015 Maddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Puppet takes place in a Hungarian village in the late 1800s. A young servant girl mysteriously disappears and the Jews of the village are the first to be blamed. A Jewish boy named Morris is manipulated by the authorities into testifying against his friends and family, even his own father. This book symbolizes the hardships of the Jewish people throughout history and how they can overcome obstacles.
This book made me think about manipulation and how terrible it is, because Morris was for
Cathe Olson
This historical fiction novel geared to teen readers recounts a horrible injustice done to Jews in a Hungarian village. When a young girl disappeared one afternoon, the local Jewish men are accused of having murdered her for a religious ritual. While I appreciate the author's intent of sharing the story of this heartbreaking piece of history, I thought the characters stereotypical and the dialogue mostly unreal--making this just a so-so book for me.
Elizabeth Boyd
The terrible trial of innocent Jews is pushed forward as a young Jewish boy is forced to testify that several Jewish men are responsible for the death of a Christian servant girl. I respect Wiseman's writing as she focused on a historical fiction story of such a tragedy. I found myself hurrying through the book to discover if yet another travesty had befallen such a persecuted religious group. I had never heard of this trial or the implications of it. However, I feel enlightened to more of the e ...more
Nora Peevy
Oct 08, 2014 Nora Peevy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A great YA novel chronicling a very sad event in Hungary's history. The story moves quickly and sheds light on the hatred and treatment of Jews, in the late 1800s. Hopefully, anyone that reads this, will remember an ugly part of history and choose to never repeat it. The mob mentality in this story reminds me of the Salem witch trials. The main female character in the book, Julie, is a model of integrity, strength, and determination. I think everyone should read this book. And it would be a wond ...more
CRC Washburn
Dec 15, 2008 CRC Washburn marked it as to-read
Very unique choice for a historical fiction novel.
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 04, 2012 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: Many reasons: this is set within my preferred historical era, I enjoy Jewish history, I enjoy 19th century court/trial cases and finally I've read and enjoyed this author before.

Throughout time immemorial until the not so distant past, parents have kept children under control with stories of monsters, evils or persons who enjoy kidnapping and eating children. When I was young the remnant of this survived in the story of the "Bogeyman". This is a sad and horrific story where t
Feb 19, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, i-own
The reason I got Puppet from the library was because it had the star of the Jews on the front, and I assumed it was about the Holocaust, and without even reading the inside flap, I got it. I love books about the Holocaust, and although I hate history class, the Holocaust is the only thing that has ever really interested me. When I got home and realized it wasn't even about the Holocaust, I was actually pretty excited. It was about Jews, but a story about them that I never had heard of.

Puppet is
Apr 11, 2012 Peggy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a historical fiction set in 1882-83 during the time of the last blood libel trial. A young Christian girl goes missing and the Jewish community are accused of killing her in a ritualistic sacrifice. When a young Jewish boy is threatened and coerced into testifying against his father and his community, only a friend of the victim (a young girl herself) knows the truth. In order for the truth to come out, she will have to go against her family, her friends, and her own community.

Jan 07, 2009 Ellen rated it it was amazing
This is a simply great story about what we today, perceive as the impossible. This is a fictional story that is set around something that really happened at the turn of the last century, the last blood libel trial in Europe in the 1890's. It was rumoured and believed in Hungary and other eastern European countries at the time, that Jews killed non-Jews to use their blood in the making of mazoh bread. In this story, a young housemaid goes missing and is presumed murdered & the son of a local ...more
Alyssa Morales
Oct 15, 2010 Alyssa Morales rated it it was amazing
This book is really good. Its about a girl who is about 14, named julia. The story takes place durring the holacoust.Julia has a little sister, a mean dad, and a mother with breast cancer. When Julia's best friend suddently goes missing and her mother dies, Julia's father sends her 4 year old sister off to her aunts house and julia to work in the jail house. Julia's bestfriend is dead and the jews are accused of killing the poor young girl. Julia teams up with the jews because she has a gut feel ...more
Puppet is a historical novel written for mature young adult readers because it tells of the last blood libel trial in Europe. The story is about standing up for what is right even if it means ones life. Julie's friend Esther goes missing and in their Czech town the immediate reason given by Esther's mom and other bigoted members of the town was that she was taken by the Jews as a sacrifice. They believed she was killed ritualistically for he blood to make the matozh. The story has heartbreaking ...more
Very strong portrayal of 19th century Europe (Hungary) and the entrenchment of anti-Semitism. This story was based on an actual case, and the trial within the story is based on the actual court records. I liked the unfolding of the hatred towards Jews, and an attentive reader will see clearly the seeds for the Holocaust, all within this event.

The protagonist, not a Jew, must make a decision to tell the truth and defend the Jewish people of her village, knowing she may be betraying the family of
Jun 06, 2009 Bad rated it it was amazing
Puppet, is a very powerful story, based on actual events. It details just how cruel and unjust human hearts can be, and how blind hatred is. I was very impressed at how straightforward the author was about how foolish and wicked Christianity has been throughout the centuries. The story is about a young girl who’s friend mysteriously vanishes. In no time, the town becomes total madness. For no reason whatsoever, they all leap to the ridiculous assumption that the Jewish citizens have murdered the ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Bee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for good historical book
I enjoyed this book. I didn't know what to expect when I found it in the Teen/Young Adult section at the library. I felt that that main character, Julie, was having a hard time but stayed strong. She cared for her very sick mother, cared for her sister Clara, and did so much for her father even though he was very hurtful and mean. I could understand that Julie was scared to ask her father things because he would beat her if she asked for things such as money for food. The characters in the book ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a heartbreaking story of prejudice, but fortunately not a completely sad ending. This was a super quick read for me. I had a hard time putting it down.
Pamela Hubbard
This was a great historical fiction book about a topic that isn't written on all that much. It focuses on the blood libel trial in Hungary in the late 1800s, when Jews were accused of killing Christian children for their blood. This story is told from the perspective of a young girl whose best friend goes missing. Everyone blames the Jews, and the authorities create a whole false story, threatening and beating a young Jewish boy to lie and turn against his own people. I liked the story, but it w ...more
May 16, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those rare works of children's historical fiction that are morally complex enough to wholly satisfy adult readers.
Corinne Wasilewski
A fairly predictable plot driven novel with capable writing that reads like a morality lesson, but, lacks emotional depth. I give it 2.5 stars.
May 31, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing
It was a very good book I got very intrigued into this book wanting to read her other books
Jun 14, 2012 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...When I read The Last Song by Wiseman, I was impressed with her ability to fictionalize such awful and tragic historical events in a way that is engrossing without trivializing them. I was just as captivated with Puppet. This book won multiple awards, and it's not hard to see why; I read the majority of this book in one night...While this book is marketed as juvenile fiction, I would recommend it for adult readers of historical fiction as well..."

For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bo
two stars means it was okay.

more to come.
Michelle Ferrin
Feb 26, 2015 Michelle Ferrin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Hudlie Dolce
Jun 02, 2010 Hudlie Dolce rated it liked it
A historical book, though not entirely nonfictional, regarding the myth of Jews kidnapping and blooding Christian children. I had moments of annoyance, especially reading what happened in the courtroom. I contradicted myself by wanting the Jews on trial to give up on Morris, but at the same time I wished Morris would tell the truth. Something about this book, though while good, felt off in a way.
Talya Joan Taylors
Apr 04, 2016 Talya Joan Taylors rated it it was amazing
Love this book! I have no words, but these; if you like to read the history and suffering of Jews you would love this book as well!
It follows a maid girl that has own her diary and her best friend disappears one night and everyone in the village is blaming the Jews.
I have cried when I was reading this book. It is very beautifully written and it deserves to be read!
Set in the late 1800s, Eva Wiseman's book centers around the old calumny that Jews use the blood of Christian children in their rituals. The book fictionally depicts one of the last related trials in Hungary through the eyes of a young friend of a girl believed to be murdered and a Jewish boy who misguidedly becomes the prosecutor's star witness.

Delaney Bella
Nov 10, 2011 Delaney Bella rated it liked it
I thought this book was...interesting. I didn't love it, but it was okay. It was pretty sad though, and made me very sad. I thought the verdict was fair, because Morris lied, so they were free, although Morris made many many Jews and innocent people suffer. Interesting book...

I also kinda thought it was boring, and sorta SKIMMED it...

Yolanda Ridge
Jul 27, 2011 Yolanda Ridge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Difficult to read at times but absolutely enlightening, thought provoking, and interesting. The ending was a relief (not because I wanted the book to end but because I wanted some happiness for the main characters) although I have to admit it that it may be a little too tidy given the subject matter.
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Young adult fiction writer Eva Wiseman was born in Hungary and currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Eva possesses a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba. She has worked as a journalist for the Winnipeg Free Press and the former Winnipeg Tribune, and has taught English Second Language and GED courses to immigrant w ...more
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