Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 book 23

Lila Perl's Isabel's War
This is an interesting counterpoint to the Annika Thor books I read a couple weeks ago, since it also involves a Jewish girl fleeing Europe (in this case, Germany), heading to England on the Kindertransport and then to relatives in America. Unfortunately, that girl isn't the main character here--the titular Isabel is, and she's the WORST. All she does is whine about how WWII is inconveniencing her personally--and yes, I know that surely not all people were thrilled about making sacrifices, but come on, she is an unbearable and unrealistic brat. When she meets the refugee girl, she's initially jealous of her and, even though the girl becomes the lens through which she finds out about the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis, never really seems to care about her much (and is even fairly bratty about her towards the end). And the end just feels really abrupt. This is the first original Lizzie Skurnick book (the others are reissues), and it's good to have Lila Perl's last book in the world, but I found it a little disappointing. B.

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