Milkweed

milkweed

Synopsis

He’s been called a Jew, a Gypsy, Stoptheif, a filthy son of Abraham, Misha. He lives on the streets of Warsaw. He steals food from the ladies in extravagant fur coats, that carry bread in their hands. He is an orphan boy who believes in bread, and mothers, and angels. He is quick and lucky, but quite stupid and naive. Now, he’s been adopted by a group of Jews, hiding from the Nazis and their oppressive system, but he doesn’t understand anything. He is a boy who wants to be a Nazi. To him there would be no better thing in world than to have the tall, glorious shiny boots, and strut around as if he owned the world. Well, chocolates with a buttercream filling and a hazelnut heart are better.

The Jews are being marched to the ghetto, and he is going to follow. He has no desire to be a Nazi anymore. He is now a Jew, a filthy son of Abraham, less than dirt, and worth nothing to the rest of Warsaw. He is proud to be a Jew.  Everyday, He sees the dead bodies covered by newspapers that litter the streets of the ghetto, when it seems that they are invisible to everyone else. He will not give up on life, mainly because he hasn’t yet grasped the importance and horror of the situation he is currently in. He sneaks out of the ghetto every night, but doesn’t run.  After all, he has a family to come back to.

The trains are here and he instinctively knows something is not right. Why move when they’ve already been moved?  His instinct is very accurate.  The trains are a one way path to torture and death. He has to escape, and to do that he has to become a nobody all over again. He has one last chance to escape. It is now every man for himself. Can he make it?

Review

I absolutely adore this book. It is charming, funny, while managing to capture the seriousness of the harm that World War 2 and the Holocaust caused to countless innocent people. I give the book and overall rating of 10.5 out of 10.  Jerry Spinelli did an amazing job a grasping all points of view of the people involved in the Holocaust whether that be victims or the Nazi. The book itself is an emotional roller coaster. There parts where you can’t decide between crying and laughing. It is an extremely good, and I would recommend taking a look at it to see what the Holocaust was really like. Even if the book is a fictional tale, it still has true facts about the workings of Holocaust, and the mark it left behind on those involved in it. I love this book, and if you read it I think that you will too.

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