Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 book 52

Jerry Spinelli's Milkweed
Look, there's no real way for me to grade or critically discuss a Jerry Spinelli YA book about the Holocaust. Here are the bare bones: it's 1939 and a small boy who thinks his name is "Stopthief" (because that's all anyone ever says to him) is taken in by an older Jewish boy and his gang. He's such a little boy that he doesn't really understand Nazis and admires their shiny boots. He's also so little that, when he ends up in the ghetto, he can escape to steal food through a hole in the wall. Spinelli pretty neatly encapsulates the Warsaw Ghetto experience, telling the horrible truth while not making it too grim for his young audience. Really well-done.

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