Oh…hi. Yeah. I’m still here. Just…you know…busy with movie theatres and pets and trying to catch up on a ton of stuff at home, since I did almost nothing while I was sick.
Had a job interview today, missed a doctor’s appointment because we ran out of gas and all kinds of other nonsense…talked to K some more about flights and the dubious nature of my getting the time off work to come to the wedding (if I don’t, I’ll have to find a replacement for myself…gah…). And about shoes. I still need to email her photos of them so we can see if they’d be okay…and see how many more times she’ll tell me to make sure I never get married (since that amuses me :P).
And I did get to spend some time with Jester today, so that made me happy. ^_^
Especially since last time I saw him I was sick and asleep for most of the time he was at my house…
And now I have a book review for you.
By Jerry Spinelli
He doesn’t remember having a family or even a name. All anyone ever says to him is “stop, thief!” until Uri finds him and invites him to join his gang of orphans. There, the boy known as “Stopthief!” is renamed Misha and given a story, just in case a grown-up asks where he came from. Misha isn’t Jewish like the other orphan boys, but being a gypsy is almost as bad as being a Jew these days…maybe it would have been better for Misha if he were nobody at all.
This book was in the bag my sister gave me with Crank and Impulse. I didn’t ask her for it, but since it was in there I went ahead and read it anyway…
Not gonna lie—I have yet to read a book about the Holocaust that wasn’t really absorbing in some way or another. This one was no exception, although I don’t understand why…every single Holocaust book I’ve read has been a children’s or young adult book, and every one is majorly depressing, especially now that I’m older and know going into each story that most of the characters are probably going to be dead by the end.
Don’t know…I had a thing for Holocaust/WWII stories when I was in junior high and probably when I was a freshman in high school, too…but this one was a little different than most of the ones I was reading then because this one had a gypsy boy as the main character instead of a Jewish kid. Now all I need to do is someday find a book about this time period that’s from a German’s point of view. I’ve always wondered why there don’t seem to be any of those… *shrug*
Anyway, Spinelli’s story is also different from others I’ve read because he includes more about what was going on right before the Germans started moving the Jewish people into the ghettos and camps, while most other authors seem to spend most of the time in the camps.
Spinelli even goes so far as to cut the camp parts out completely…Misha never goes there, and the best parts of Milkweed end after he gets out of the ghetto. After that, the story isn’t as great…it’s kind of a montage of partial scenes where Misha gradually makes his way to America and has a really horrible life as an adult.
The end portions were a huge letdown, but the main portion of the book was still good enough that I would recommend this book if you’re at all into this sort of story.
I feel a little absurd, making a note about things in this story that would maybe be offensive, but…I’ll do it anyway.
There is a lot of anti-Semitic sentiment from the German characters, which is kind of a given. There’s a lot of violence and murder and torture, although most of it isn’t very graphic. It’s a young reader book, after all…so I guess Spinelli was toning it down and trusting that reader’s imaginations would take over and fill in extra details. There is also a lot of death, even without the murder scenes. Lots of flies and maggots and carrion crows.
Definitely not a feel-good book (don’t believe the other reviews that say Milkweed is a hopeful story…it’s so not), but I don’t feel like I totally wasted my time in reading it.