Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Milkweed

 

It's Jewish Book Week   so it seems the right time to review Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli. Milkweed is a young adult book set in Poland during the second world war. The book is written from the point of view of a loveable, kind and yet very naive nameless orphan running wild around the streets of Warsaw. He's not quite aware of what's going on in Europe or in his country. He doesn't know if he's a Jew or not. When he sees Jews running on the streets, he thinks it's a race. He's attracted to the beautiful uniforms of the 'Jackboots' or Nazis, not quite suspecting that they're the enemy. When the Jews are rounded up to go to the ghetto, he believes it's a magical place and he wants to go with them. He's befriended by Uri an older boy who gives him the name of Misha Pilsudski and invents a Gypsy past for him to protect him from the knowledge that he's a Jew.

Jerry Spinelli is an award winning author and he writes Milkweed in a concise, simple and sparse style. He succeeds on many levels to produce a work that's at once touching but also harrowing. Milkweed is a unique story about innocence and survival.

12 comments:

  1. That sounds really good, and I love the cover. i will remember to look for this book

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  2. This sounds like an interesting and complex book about identity and I think I would enjoy it - thanks for recommending

    Hannah

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  3. I am glad you enjoyed this book-I really like it tremendously-I think the last 6 or so pages are near magic-great review-

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  4. @mel - thanks for recommending it in the first place!

    @Hannah Stoneham - It's actually not a complex book. I think you'll enjoy it.

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  5. This book sounds so interesting, and a unique perspective on World War Two. Great review!

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  6. Sounds like a good one! I had not heard of it before this. Thanks for the review.

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  7. Great short review! I have never heard of this, but what an eye-catching cover and title.

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  8. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I enjoy stories like this.

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  9. This book sounds both haunting and lovely. My boys have been assigned a few Jerry Spinelli books in school. I love how Spinelli can expose tough subjects and realities to kids without us parents going ballistic thinking they've been divested of their innocence too quickly.

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  10. This sounds interesting and remind me a bit of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

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  11. I read Spinelli's Stargirl and wasn't quite sold, but this one sounds more my speed. I would have picked it up solely because of the cover!

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  12. I love this book almost as much as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read this for the World War II Challenge last year (http://sumthinblue.com/world-war-ii-challenge-wrap-up/)l

    Like She, I liked this more than the much-raved about Stargirl.

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