Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli - 2003- 240 Pages - Newberry Medalist

 Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli - 2003- 240 Pages - Newberry Medalist

I last read Milkweed in 2009.  I was delighted to find it available on Libby.

As I read it I remembered the persona of the young boy in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation,  the tone of the work, and the totally wonderful ending.  

"He's a boy called Jew. Gypsy. Stopthief. Runt. Happy. Fast. Filthy son of Abraham.

He's a boy who lives in the streets of Warsaw. He's a boy who steals food for himself and the other orphans. He's a boy who believes in bread, and mothers, and angels. He's a boy who wants to be a Nazi some day, with tall shiny jackboots and a gleaming Eagle hat of his own. Until the day that suddenly makes him change his mind. And when the trains come to empty the Jews from the ghetto of the damned, he's a boy who realizes it's safest of all to be nobody.

Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli takes us to one of the most devastating settings imaginable - Nazi-occupied Warsaw of World War II - and tells a tale of heartbreak, hope, and survival through the bright eyes of a young orphan" - from the Publisher Scolastic Press

I think this beautiful work about an incredibly ugly place and time will deeply move most readers, of any age.  We end up seeing the narrator as a grandfather.

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

I don't think I've read this one of his, I'll definitely have a look now: thank you!