Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yellow Star

Book 6 of my 2014 Reading Challenge

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

Summary (via the book's prologue)

"In 1939, the Germans invaded the town of Lodz, Poland.  They forced all the Jewish people to live in a small part of the city called a ghetto.  They built a barbed-wire fence around it and posted Nazi guards to keep everyone inside it.  Two hundred and seventy thousand people lived in the Lodz ghetto.  
In 1945, the war ended.  The Germans surrendered, and the ghetto was liberated.  Out of more than a quarter of a million people, only about 800 walked out of the ghetto.  Of those who survived, only twelve were children.
I was one of the twelve."

- Excerpt from interview with Sylvia Perlmutter [the author's aunt; this book is based on the 5 1/2 years she spent living in the Lodz ghetto]

My Opinion

I read this book based on the recommendation of my 10 year old daughter.  Actually, it was less a recommendation and more an insistence...she had read it and it touched her so much that she brought home 2 copies from the library - one for me to read and one for her to (re)read - and sat next to me as we finished the book in one sitting.  

It took me a little bit of time to settle in because prose isn't one of my favorite writing styles, but I quickly became so absorbed in the power of the story that the style no longer mattered.  Prose turned out to be an excellent choice for this juvenile book because it removed some of the harshness of the story; the spaces allowed mature readers to fill in the gaps but kept it from being too bleak for young readers.

This book begs to be read aloud.  An amazing story about a strong woman and I'm very thankful to Alison for sharing it with me.

Quote from the Book

"Dora came home from work in a bad mood.
Mother and Papa are tired.
I miss my real doll.
And we are all hungry.
But there is not enough food for dinner.
Mother does not eat her meal.
She gives it to me instead.
She does not say "I love you" in hugs and kisses,
but her love fills my plate,
and I gobble it up."

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