Ruth's Reviews > The Devil's Arithmetic

The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
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's review
Feb 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Very well-done telling of the holocaust. It's a children's (chapter) book and I appreciated that it would be appropriate for children (probably not little ones, but ones of that reading level). It was honest, without being graphic, so you understand what's going on because of other knowledge that you bring to the reading (and therefore, appropriate for whatever age you are). That's something I really liked about it. (Children's books should be appropriate for children.)

In addition, as I discussed with a friend afterward, it is honest and remembers without wallowing. I also appreciated that. Treating horrific situations appropriately is an art and I believe Yolen does a good job of it. At the end of a honest, realistic description of the holocaust, I felt HOPE. That's a story well-told.

The fantasy aspect of it, mixed with the historical fiction, is both intriguing (and might reach a wider audience) and, on a deeper level, fills it with greater food for thought.

And on and on. I appreciated it and am very glad I read it.

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