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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In a moving retelling of Hansel and Gretel, a woman is murdered during a terrorist attack, leaving her three sons into the care of their grandmother, Lilli. As the four prepare to celebrate Christmas without her, they are drawn into a rich, resonant world of memory, where Lilli must confront the horrors of the Nazi persecution she managed to survive. After losing her entir ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by MacAdam/Cage Publishing (first published 1979)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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May 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Rushforth is a very sophisticated and literary author. His main character is a highly educated, cultured, intelligent, creative boy of 16. His relationship with his 12-year-old brother - particularly their intellectual banter - is precious. It may seem overdone and unrealistic for an American reader of the 21st century, but I think the boys' level of sophistication and intellect is not out of place, given their upbringing and the time period - England in the late 1970s.

The ma
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
I was reminded of this book today after seeing a live broadcast of the Met's Hansel and Gretel in a local theater. This production was so much darker than most, and seemed (to me at least) to be set in the 30s.

Kindergarten takes place in the 70s presumably, the children's mother having been recently killed in a terrorist attack at the Rome airport. But Rushforth weaves together the stories of these children, their grandmother (a Jew driven from Germany to England with the rise of the Nazis), the
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-fic, world-war-ii
What a surprisingly powerful novel! I really enjoyed it, but I must admit that I was left wanting more at the end. It is a story told in snippets, in gasping breaths almost. Some parts were more emotional than others, I never actually cried, just felt on the verge of tears several times. It was a good book, but i wanted to hear more of Lilli's story. And more of their mother's. I think this would be a good book for a book club because of the many layers and the fairy tale aspect as well. Unfortu ...more
A boy grieving hist mother's untimely death by terrorists comes across letters about sending jewish children to a school in England during WWII.
Abhishek Ganguly
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Peter Rushfort is more of an artist, than a writer. With 'Kindergarten', he has managed to instill hope and joy through the dark and sombre colours of death, destruction and despair.

'Kindergarten' follows the holidays for three young boys and their grandmother, their first Christmas after the death of therir mother is a terrorist shooting in an Italian airport. Every character has his/her own Pandora's box of pain, the children sense abandonment in the sudden death of their mother while the gran
Deborah Klein
The book description does not do justice to this incredible novel. This is really a coming of age tale for the protagonist, the oldest of three brothers. Their mother died in a terrorist bombing on Easter, and now it is Christmas, the first Christmas without Mum. And Dad has traveled to a conference in America, leaving the boys and their grandmother to celebrate the holidays amid their loss. The family lives on the campus of a private school, of which the father is headmaster, and the son has re ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Confusing yet enjoyable
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that focuses largely on dealing with violence of terrorism across ages and its victims.
Mindy Sauve
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Sep 13, 2011
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Jason Linden
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Peter Scott Rushforth was an English teacher and novelist.
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“On Christmas Eve," Joe said, "when you were reading 'The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids' to Matty, Corrie and I were sitting on the stairs listening."

Jo looked at Lilli, his face stern.

"The bit I always remember best in that story is the bit when the wolf goes to the miller and tells him to throw flour over his paws to disguise them." He began to quote from the story: "'The miller thought to himself, "The wolf is going to harm someone," and refused to do as he was told. Then the wolf said, "If you do not do as I tell you, I will kill you." The miller was afraid, and did as he was told, and threw the flour over the wolf's paws until they were white. This is what mankind is like.'"

He repeated the final sentence.

"'This is what mankind is like.”
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