This academic read was difficult for me in terms of readability and understanding. Snyder's look at how Hitler was trying to restore balance to the EaThis academic read was difficult for me in terms of readability and understanding. Snyder's look at how Hitler was trying to restore balance to the Earth through beginning a war with all of Europe for resources (as he compares it to American's having Manifest Destiny while Germany already had it's land parceled throughout Europe's already established boundaries) is intense and as Snyder argues, still an important topic to discuss as his subtitle says "... and warning".
But as I mentioned, it is difficult to understand completely as it's written just above my comfort zone in terms of what I know to be true about World War II, the Holocaust, and Hitler. Likewise, the geographic and historical understanding of the areas was sometimes hard to follow, though I value the opportunity to try to get a better 'history'. Snyder delivers to readers what he promises, which is refreshing. ...more
A beautifully done graphic novel targeted toward younger kids, but so appropriate for HS kids about the stories everyone has related to the Holocaust.A beautifully done graphic novel targeted toward younger kids, but so appropriate for HS kids about the stories everyone has related to the Holocaust. In this story, Douina has been crying over her memories of survivor when her granddaughter stumbles in and asks her what's wrong. There, with the girl curled up in her lap, she tells the girl her story.
From the first indications of issues when her father tells them that they're going to become "sheriffs" and wear a badge (the star of David), which then became Douina losing friends, having to stop going to school, her father losing her job until one night soldiers appear at their door and they hide Doina underneath a board in a cupboard. Knowing there was a plan already in place, the reader waits impatiently as a downstairs neighbor comes to rescue her after her parents are taken. Douina assumes a different name and then after another dangerous encounter, lives with her new 'mother' in the country milking cows, raising animals, and trying to live normally while always being scared about what has happened to her parents. .
I enjoyed that the graphic novel came full circle with Douina's son sharing that he'd never heard that story (but now his daughter has) and how grateful they are to hear the story to remember and to heal. I also enjoyed in the color and illustrations and the text which had both an easy narrative and dialogue that was digestible, gentle, and informative. I would highly recommend. ...more
With a title and subtitle as long as this one, I should have anticipated that the writing would be a big drawn out as well. If the narrative was tightWith a title and subtitle as long as this one, I should have anticipated that the writing would be a big drawn out as well. If the narrative was tightened, I could have been more engaged, instead I felt like I was reading a reference book about these spies and saboteurs rather than living through them as they made decisions that ultimately helped them keep Denmark intact during the invasion and occupation by Germany until World War II ended in 1945. Likewise, it wasn't an intensely active narrative that made it feel like a spy movie, which is what I appreciate so much about James Swanson's work. There is a pace that he keeps that make it feel like a video game, always moving.
So while it's valuable information that I'm better for knowing, it wasn't easy reading but it's important to recognize these people as courageous individuals. I love ending on the quote to 'swim against the stream' by Niels Skov near the end of his life. ...more
What a beautiful sequel. I can't figure out whether it's Gretchen and Daniel as vividly portrayed, realistic, romantic, and courageous characters thatWhat a beautiful sequel. I can't figure out whether it's Gretchen and Daniel as vividly portrayed, realistic, romantic, and courageous characters that make the story or the atmospheric mystery and history entwined that make me feel so loving toward Blankman. It could also be the cover, the secondary characters, the writing, ah, well, a little of all of it makes for a nearly perfect story.
A follow up to Prisoner of Night and Fog, Gretchen has been living comfortably with the Whitestone's while Daniel troops along writing social stories for the paper close by, but duty calls when Daniel is framed for a murder and Gretchen and Daniel decide to go back into the lion's den and return to Berlin where they want to solve a murder and thereby another mystery to take down Hitler before the Enabling Act passes and Hitler has ultimate power. Because of Gretchen's upbringing with her Uncle Dolf, she knows the Nazi party and her uncle and the dangers it brings, so she changes her appearance and reunites (though untrusting) to some of her friends and family where what has happened paints a desperate picture of how things are changing under Hitler's all-encompassing control.
A historical fiction duo that is rendered with the best of them. ...more
As a contemporary The Catcher in the Rye, Leonard is disillusioned by his insignificance after a very significant series of events lead him to a powerAs a contemporary The Catcher in the Rye, Leonard is disillusioned by his insignificance after a very significant series of events lead him to a power struggle in which his wishes and fantasy is to kill Asher and then kill himself in a sort-of epic fashion on his birthday after passing out significant presents to certain people he has interacted with along the way. It can also be a companion to stories like Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak because the main character has not let anyone in on the struggles they're dealing with.
In one of the most spectacular opening lines, "The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal", the book is a serious look into the tragedy of a modern teenager whose only recourse, he feels, is murder-suicide. He has a relationship with an older gentleman, Walt, next door, who watches Humphrey Bogart movies with, there's the religious girl handing out fliers at the train station, his Holocaust class teacher who never rolls up his sleeves, his absent mother who leaves Leonard alone to pursue her own ambitions, and of course, Asher, who were great friends until "the events" of the last few years . The signs are there that Leonard is planning something significant, from his interactions with staff and students at the school, his "gifts" to people of significance, his chopping his long hair off, and his writings, people have noticed, specifically his teacher, who reaches out at the very last minute to save Leonard. .
The ending is somewhat vague and I like it that way. There's a magic to Quick's work (I read Boy21) that is intriguing and very realistic, making it a significant story that should be talked about from the checked-out mother to the issues of abuse that go unnoticed. It's heavy, like Fault Line but in all the best ways. ...more
Torture has been around since the beginning of time, as demonstrated by the research for the book that documents situations from the Greeks and RomansTorture has been around since the beginning of time, as demonstrated by the research for the book that documents situations from the Greeks and Romans, Egyptians, through contemporary situations like Abu Gharaib prison and waterboarding. There are unique elements to the book including some graphic illustrations of some of the torture techniques but also a wide range of issues related that includes war, prisoners of war, control, or explaining irregularities (women who were unmarried were deemed witches and tortured).
The most memorable chapter for me was learning about Senator John McCain's six years as a POW and what he was exposed to and his reactions to the types of tortures used. And while the book doesn't have a strong spine that holds it all together, cohesively moving from chapter to chapter, it is a topic that needs to be written about for teens so that they can also, as Marcovitz does at the end, make decisions about justifiable torture or is it always wrong. He does well to present government and world documents including the Geneva Convention, terms of engagement in war, and how torturers themselves documents their atrocities and what happened legally with them.
Overall, not the strongest book but it gets the job done for exposing students to this topic that will ultimately affect their futures: its alluded that terrorism in its present form has changed the rules and a hard look at torture should be discussed. ...more
A brief first in a trilogy that discusses WWII and the Holocaust. In this story, it's the French Resistance and a few characters harboring a Jewish boA brief first in a trilogy that discusses WWII and the Holocaust. In this story, it's the French Resistance and a few characters harboring a Jewish boy while he tracks down his family and they learn to be on the outskirts of the resistance. They are not THE resistance, they are those unnamed and usually faceless people from history that truly affected change but their stories are rarely shared. ...more
**spoiler alert** While a bit long-winded, I found Blankman's historical fiction about Hitler's mysteriousness fascinating. Blankman does good to add**spoiler alert** While a bit long-winded, I found Blankman's historical fiction about Hitler's mysteriousness fascinating. Blankman does good to add the historical note at the end about what was factual while adding the characters and situations that were added for exploratory purposes.
Gretchen's family has been in Adolf Hitler's good graces for as long as Gretchen's father had been a friend, confidant and then martyr for the cause when he was shot protecting Hitler. She even calls him Uncle Dolf. But life is turned upside down when she's approached by a journalist with information that if she chooses to seek the truth, will uncover that her father was murdered from within the party, rather than a death of circumstance. Gretchen, strong-willed and intuitive, is ready to meet the truth head-on and begins her own explorations. Through relationships with her family and the Nazi Party men, she begins to unravel the mystery, all while engaging in a secret relationship with a Jewish man named Daniel, which also is just as traitorous as her intentions to seek the truth in her father's murder investigation.
The book really speeds up toward the end as multiple mysteries are detected, uncovered, and the lovebirds escape in the hopes of living successfully outside the country with their star-crossed fate. There is the confrontation with Uncle Dolf about her father's death, there's the 'suicide' of her relative in a short time after Uncle Dolf tries to seduce Gretchen herself, and the need to escape persecution as her family falls from grace. And while her mother is not happy about her relationship with Daniel, she wishes them well, and wishes that he take care of her as they escape.
Wonderful story with a great title and mysterious topic. ...more
A simple story about the cost of war on one family who made it through the Holocaust. Written about the Blumenthal family, Walter and Ruth and their kA simple story about the cost of war on one family who made it through the Holocaust. Written about the Blumenthal family, Walter and Ruth and their kids, Albert and Marion, were refugees in other countries, sent on trains to camps, worked to skeletal frames, and freed by Russian forces only to make the agonizing decision to leave Europe behind for the United States. The family's story is easy to understand and as much as any Holocaust story, hard to understand that something like this could have happened. The pictures speak for what doesn't get said and the family's words themselves are a great witness to their feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and then finally rebirth, even as they lost Walter, soon after their freedom, from disease.
A fascinating nonfiction mystery about what became of Raoul Wallenberg after years of service in helping Jews escape the war using his Swedish connectA fascinating nonfiction mystery about what became of Raoul Wallenberg after years of service in helping Jews escape the war using his Swedish connections, signatures, passports, and "trickery". He worked so hard without much direction but with a lot of passion in convincing people of his legitimacy and authority, with his signature carrying weight, his briefcase with addresses and signatures, to try to stop the atrocities of war.
Ironically, the book does not play as a mystery. It's not until the very end as Russia is coming to try to liberate Budapest and help save Jews, that the reader realizes that where Wallenberg went was a mystery. He drove off in a different car with his driver/colleague and with few records of his incarceration by Russia, who thought him a spy, and movements between two prisons, that it is not understood what happened to him. Execution? Disease in a prison? Because at a certain point, records stop and Russia refused to acknowledge they even had him in custody.
His life's work now left with a question mark as to when he died, though there are MANY monuments of this man in the US and abroad for his tireless efforts. An amazing heroic story!...more
This well-done, short nonfiction book about gays during the Holocaust, branded with the pink triangle, is a great addition to Holocaust fiction and noThis well-done, short nonfiction book about gays during the Holocaust, branded with the pink triangle, is a great addition to Holocaust fiction and nonfiction, with a focus on a certain population and a message at the end about contemporary GLBT issues and recognition, years later for gays in concentration camps, survivors, and life before and after the Nazis.
I appreciated the focus on certain people and their situations along with eyewitness accounts of those that were helped, aided, hidden, or otherwise either by or for gays but also what Germany and surrounding countries were like to gays before Hitler's rise to power. Chock full of information that is a great narrative nonfiction piece, there were things that I learned, having never known before, which makes it a wonderfully research piece. ...more
A quick and exhilarating way to demonstrate the mob mentality and now knowing that this was based on an actual event from '69 (I knew there was a moviA quick and exhilarating way to demonstrate the mob mentality and now knowing that this was based on an actual event from '69 (I knew there was a movie but haven't seen it) is even more powerful. It is so politically charged and creepy, as Strasser moves through the characters, the scenes, and how like a balloon on a windy day gets taken quickly up. A teacher wants to truly demonstrate the mentality of Nazi's killing millions of Jews, gypsies, and gays through brainwashing and fear. It starts out with a few days of guided instruction in the classroom and becomes a full-on cult by the end of the "demonstration" revealing how quickly things can get out of hand in a school and the larger world.
So quick and so scary this is a cautionary tale to end all tales and resonates with both teachers, students, and historians. ...more
It's emotional to read a story about hundreds of husbands and wives who knew the only way to save their Jewish children was to put them on trains andIt's emotional to read a story about hundreds of husbands and wives who knew the only way to save their Jewish children was to put them on trains and get them out without them. Known as Kindertransport, men and women, especially those that were Quakers, risked their lives and put their reputations on the line to convince the Nazis to let the children go. Then they exhaustively worked to find them hostels, homes, and orphanages to keep them safe until their hopeful reunion with family.
Sadly many (as they say, two-thirds) didn't get to reunite ever with family, but some did. Even those that helped in the rescue were greatly rewarded. I couldn't help but be moved by one of the men, Nicholas Winton, who survived the Holocaust after rescuing children, and lived to 100 years old.
The narrative nonfiction is short and sweet, interspersed with quotes from eight girls and boys who were transported, illustrations and actual photographs from the time period. Imagine the maturity these kids needed to all be crowded on to trains with only a few adults for supervision to survive. There are photos of boys playing the violin for other kids on the train or sitting and reading. It's very Anne Frank.
A different perspective on the Holocaust, though while sad, much more uplifting to see the great side of humanity, with the words "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire" echoing....more
An amazing set of stories from the Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. For me, these stories are new and the pictures embedded within the storiesAn amazing set of stories from the Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. For me, these stories are new and the pictures embedded within the stories were just as engaging because I was truly learning something new. From the descriptions of the camps to those heroes who tried to save thousands of children in various ways (smuggling them, caring for them, forging documents, etc.), the short two to four page biographies or stories were awe-inspiring, truly beyond courageous. It is a perfect title.
This would be a fantastic nonfiction book to use in studying the Holocaust because it shows all kinds of people (Greeks, French, Swiss, etc.) willing to put their lives on the line for something they were against. Some of the pictures are vivid and speak more than the words on the pages. There's almost too much in the book to take in all at once because of the atrocities that unfolded. ...more
A truly fantastic Holocaust story based on real events. Jack or Yanek as he's referred to, is a Polish Jew when Hitler rises to power and the Jews areA truly fantastic Holocaust story based on real events. Jack or Yanek as he's referred to, is a Polish Jew when Hitler rises to power and the Jews are beginning to be quarantined, herded, and killed before the reality of concentration camps and inescapable desperation take hold. Yanek is on the verge of his bar mitzvah when the family takes refuge in a coop on the top of the apartment complex where he is taken in the dead of the night to a basement and given the rights to manhood through the celebration. It's now that Yanek realizes the situation is deadly when soon his parents are taken, the remaining other family members are now missing, and finally Yanek finds himself on the road to the camps as well.
The story moves swiftly through each of his time at many of the famous concentration camps as well as some littler-known ones where he is trying to survive. He briefly reunites with his uncle, who perishes, and while Yanek would like to do good for his fellow sufferers, sometimes he cannot for fear of retribution and death. He narrowly escapes the gas chambers where instead of gas, cold water comes, and he realizes it's a sick game of cat and mouse with the Nazis and there may not be luck that gets him out alive. The story is quick, almost too quick, but sympathetic, hopeful, and powerful.
Luckily, Yanek does survive, barely, and tells of the American soldiers' rescue and eating real food and sleeping in a bed with a mattress and his life subsequent to this where he really became an orphan though some distant cousins did survive. Like many, he came to the US and still lives here but does not forget the tattoo on his arm, Prisoner B-3087.
Each section, chronologically, follows his route through the different camps. The story should be read as a whole, but certainly to highlight certain atrocities, can be taken by these "chapters" and pulled apart to help student understanding. ...more
I can appreciate Bick's angle for understanding a little know historical fact that there were prisoner-of-war camps in the United States and more thanI can appreciate Bick's angle for understanding a little know historical fact that there were prisoner-of-war camps in the United States and more than a few in Wisconsin, though Winter in this story is a fictional village. In any case, Christian has visions and fits of artistic outpouring that make him more than a little odd in his town where he's being raised by an aunt and uncle. Through a series of chapters, italicized explanations, and trying to understand Christian's abilities though, I couldn't follow it enough to get to the meat and potatoes of the story.
If the story was presented more straightforward and without so much mystification, I could have understood both Christian's discoveries as well as the historical perspective of small town fear and big world prejudices. ...more
Chris Hedges spent most of his life as a war correspondent and then created a book that covers the gamut of war throughout the world and how it affectChris Hedges spent most of his life as a war correspondent and then created a book that covers the gamut of war throughout the world and how it affects everything and connects everything. His enlightened interpretation and connections between literature are amazing and full and I certainly feel uncultured and unread reading his work as his allusions are rampant.
Hedges gets very specific and very personal about war stories and how it changes people, lives, communities and countries and focuses especially on the war between Bosnian, Serb, and Muslims. ...more
A very simple and powerful glimpse into Mengele's torturous medical block at Auschwitz where he systematically tested twins "in the name of science."A very simple and powerful glimpse into Mengele's torturous medical block at Auschwitz where he systematically tested twins "in the name of science." With richer descriptions of the abuse and emotional and physical torment the twins went through on their quest to survive, this puts the twin perspective into perspective better than the book, Children of the Flames, which focused more on Mengele himself.
The descriptions of pre-war life, life at the camps, and their subsequent freedom and quest for happiness and contentment are forefront and lead to a better understanding for a generation already removed from the horrors of war and the Holocaust. While I have seen interviews with Eva Mozes Kor, the straightforward text is a lot to take in, which is why it is short but accessible, with the pictures adding a certain humanity and understanding to the Mozes fight for life.
It can be valued for it's brevity but depth to the human toll of the Holocaust and also sheds light on the workers inside Mengele's labs as well as the gypsies he included in his studies as well. ...more
I can't really make too much of a commentary on the book because after ten pages, I put it down. I might try to pick this one up later after reading sI can't really make too much of a commentary on the book because after ten pages, I put it down. I might try to pick this one up later after reading some other reviews on Goodreads that they thought this was a fantastic read. The characters didn't catch me with a story and I was already bogged down by jargon and the writing.
How will students react to the book? I'll try to find out. ...more
A diverse collection of short stories about war and the effects and interpretations kids pull from current events of their time period. Between what pA diverse collection of short stories about war and the effects and interpretations kids pull from current events of their time period. Between what parents think is best for their children's safety and best for their beliefs, children are usually in the middle. It was a nice, solid collection of stories from both the United States and abroad, touching on the most widely known or understood. I enjoyed the scrolling statistic at the bottom and read it before reading the selection in order to get grounding in the story. Nice touch.
"The lives of all of us are stories. If enough of these stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details." Julius Lester...more
Is there an option for ten stars? Is there a better rating than "it was amazing"? Something like, it would not be humanly possible to write a better bIs there an option for ten stars? Is there a better rating than "it was amazing"? Something like, it would not be humanly possible to write a better book. Seriously, the beauty of the story and the language made me think Septys was a seasoned veteran, instead, this was her first novel!
Lina and her family are Lithuanian and while the story is focused on their life once they have been taken by the NKVD, there are also flashbacks that give indications of why they have been taken and forced to work in a labor camp. There is so much to love-- Lina's perserverence and youthful defiance, Lina's mother's strength and courage, the fortitude of human spirit. But, what it boils down to is the imagery and emotion that her story ilicits. The glimmers of hope only compound the the desperation Lithuanian's felt being punished by the Soviets for perceived infractions.
I already have people to pass this along to and would recommend this to anyone. It's a different perspective on the Holocaust as it deals with Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, and Finns who were murdered by Stalin and forced into work camps in the harshest conditions in Siberia.
"I don't deserve anything. You stand for what is right, Lina, without the expectation of gratitude or reward. Now, off to your homework."
"I stared at Andrius. Dried blood caked his teeth and the corners of his lips. His jaw was swollen. I hated them, the NKVD and the Soviets. I planted a seed of hatred in my heart. I swore it would grow to be a massive tree whose roots would strangle them all."
"I stood on my toes and kissed him. 'Krasivaya,' he said into my ear, his nose tracing along my cheek. 'Have you learned it yet?' He kissed my neck.
"She pointed to the scar above my eyebrow. 'No, they hit me with a can of sardines,' I said. 'Because you were crying?' she asked. 'No, just for fun.' I answered."
"'J-Jonas, keep this.' She handed him Papa's wedding band. 'It's full of love. Nothing is more important.'"
"That's when I saw it. A tiny sliver of gold appeared between shades of gray on the horizon. I stared at the amber band of sunlight, smiling. The sun had returned." ...more
Translated with a beautiful cadence and story, it's the story of music in the concentration camps and during the Holocaust. I've read a few other storTranslated with a beautiful cadence and story, it's the story of music in the concentration camps and during the Holocaust. I've read a few other stories with similar themes and this one was no different. Very simple and splendid, it details a man's race against the clock to build a violin to play in front of the Commander. If he loses, he gets to be abused by the monster-doctor and if he wins, the commander gets a case of wine but for him it's a remembrance of his past life and love before being taken to this awful place. It makes you appreciate music and the dedication and belief musicians have in their craft- everything from the instrument itself to the music that is played. ...more
The story begins to truly unravel as Smith turns the tables a bit by introducing more of the science fiction element, whereas the first two books seemThe story begins to truly unravel as Smith turns the tables a bit by introducing more of the science fiction element, whereas the first two books seemed to really be magical realism more than sci-fi. Yet now, readers know that Alfred Furnace, the creator of The Furnace, the hell where these wrongfully convicted boys go as punishment are being used as science experiments that began from WWII and the Nazis. The power to harness the evil madness and sheer strength of natural abilities create superhumans, which is what these boys are becoming at the behest of Furnace and the warden. There are levels of these beings, from wheezers to blacksuits to berserkers to rats and Alex must overcome his own evil powers, now that he's been converted using the nectar, to remember his name, remember his purpose to escape (with his friends who won't let him forget).
So our hero, Alex, is yet again the leader with his now superhuman strengths to do good and escape. Fantastically, by the end of this book, they do! But it won't stop there. Fugitives is coming next which is awesome because Smith sets it up so perfectly to still be invested. We know that Furnace is not done with him, the other boys because he is in Alex's head, the nectar is Furnace's own creation and it gives him power over his creatures. This rivalry will only become more heated because Furnace would obviously like to keep his experiments under wraps but now that they have escaped he needs to rein them in. ...more
A beautiful story of two lives that intersect in the present day with this adult novel, but definitely readable for 11th graders and up, with a bit ofA beautiful story of two lives that intersect in the present day with this adult novel, but definitely readable for 11th graders and up, with a bit of sex and adult content. Julia is a 45-year old trapped in marriage that she realizes can't continue as she decides to pursue the story of Vel d'Hiv', then French Jews were rounded up for a days in a stadium before being transported to concentration camps to be killed. But the story of Sarah catches Julia's attention, not just because she was a child, but because her story intersects with her husband's family's history.
Fantastically done and realistic with interesting and REAL characters. ...more
This is a great short read, especially for those looking for a quick overview of some of the atrocities of the Holocaust, but more specifically aboutThis is a great short read, especially for those looking for a quick overview of some of the atrocities of the Holocaust, but more specifically about Hitler Youth. Reinhard joins up with Hitler Youth much to the chagrin of his father who is fearful of Hitler's ideas. The story is weaved intricately from the tale of Dieter and Greta, younger siblings of Reinhard who you find are alone and trying to escape Berlin when they happen upon a burning tanker and Russian soliders and to try to help save the solider from dying before their eyes, Dieter tells the tale of the past few years as Hitler came to power.
The font is large, it's 150 pages with enough action, family in-fighting, hope, and motifs as well as historical characters and events (Night of Broken Glass, Hitler Youth, Goebbels) to make it an exteremly realistic story....more
**spoiler alert** Set in Spain, Estrella tells how she uncovered who she and her family truly were: Jews hiding as Christians in Spain in the 1500s. M**spoiler alert** Set in Spain, Estrella tells how she uncovered who she and her family truly were: Jews hiding as Christians in Spain in the 1500s. More powerful than religion, Estrella finds that her friendships have been fractured by secrecy, but that she can find love that knows no prejudice while dealing with the death of her mother and brother who are burned for their deception....more
Daniel grew up not knowing he was 1/4 Jewish until the rise of Hitler and the confession that his mother was half-Jewish. From then on, Daniel must hiDaniel grew up not knowing he was 1/4 Jewish until the rise of Hitler and the confession that his mother was half-Jewish. From then on, Daniel must hide this, even from his best friend, Armin. But, when it's finally out, Armin, while a Nazi party member himself, still sticks by Daniel, even falling in love with a Jewish cousin of Daniel's.
By the end, many years later, Armin gets his comeuppance when Daniel finds Armin beaten and battered with a great conclusion that pits friendship against the ideals of the time. ...more
**spoiler alert** A dismal tale of the Holocaust through the parallel yet different lives of two boys: one Jew one German. Shmuel is so innocent, and**spoiler alert** A dismal tale of the Holocaust through the parallel yet different lives of two boys: one Jew one German. Shmuel is so innocent, and so is Bruno, who does not know who Hitler really is or what his father really does. The end sends chills down anyone's spine and gets you every time, even when you're watching the movie and you know it's coming!
And then the room went very dark and somehow, despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel's hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go....more
Like T4, this is another novel in verse focusing on a little-discussed piece of the Holocuast-- where refugees fleeing Europe were turned away from thLike T4, this is another novel in verse focusing on a little-discussed piece of the Holocuast-- where refugees fleeing Europe were turned away from the US and Canada and docked in Cuba in the hopes of finding safe harbor. In this story, the novel-in-verse is focused on four characters, including a young boy alone who traveled in order to keep safe, hoping that he will eventually be reunited with his parents at the Statue of Liberty.
It was fascinating to learn about Cuban culture during the late 30s and early 40s as well as the sentiment and relationships between groups like the Quakers, non-Jewish Germans, Catholics, etc....more