Friday, November 6, 2015

The Old Brown Suitcase



In America, when we think of immigrants (both legal and illegal), we think of Mexicans, Southeast Asians, Micronesians. But Europe is struggling with their own immigrant challenges and the atrocities of mass refugees trying to find safety and "home," has resulted in stories coming out that highlight the underbelly of society. 

I listened to the Audiobook of this story by Lillian Boraks-Nemitz, narrated by Sofia Bunting-Newman in half a day. It is the story of Slava, a fourteen-year old who survives the Warsaw ghettoes of World War II Germany and is able to escape to Canada. She struggles with the horrific memories, the challenges of creating a new identity and the challenge of acclimating to a new country. She also has the typical teen issues - friendship, love, parents, school. 

I though that the story was well read. The writing drew me in and I wanted to make sure that this young woman found some kind of peace in her life. The only issue I had with the book was that some of the words fit into the understanding of the young teen audience that it is intended for, but the words did not seem historically accurate, especially for adults. Otherwise, great historical fiction read and I appreciate that the narrator has historical notes about the Warsaw ghetto and in the book there are further resources for continued reading.

Book pairings:
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Maus: a survivorÊ»s tale by Art Spiegelman
Night by Elie Wiesel


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