|Mapping the bones|
Author: Yolen, Jane
In Poland in the 1940s, twins Chaim and Gittel rely on each other to endure life in a ghetto, escape through forests, and the horrors of a concentration camp.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 194406
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 23.0 Quiz: 72740
School Library Journal (02/01/18)
Booklist (+) (01/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/04/18)
The Hornbook (00/05/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2018 *Starred Review* Nazi-occupied Lodz, Poland, 1942. Chaim and Gittel, 14-year-old Jewish twins, live with their parents in a small apartment in the ghetto. Life is made bearable for the taciturn Chaim by the poetry he writes (he seldom speaks because of a stutter). Things become grimmer when the twins’ parents are forced to open their home to an unsympathetic family, which also has two children: Sophie and the disagreeable Bruno. When the twins’ father learns his family is to be transported, he arranges for them to escape from Lodz along with Sophie and Bruno. The four children are put in the custody of a group of partisans who are to take them to safety. Alas, they are surprised by a company of Germans and killed, leaving only the children, who are taken to a forced labor camp (slave labor camp, Chaim wryly calls it). There they are put to work in a munitions factory until an insane German doctor, a protégé of the monstrous Dr. Mengele, arrives, intent on performing experiments on the twins. Using the framework of the Hansel and Gretel story, Yolen does a superb job of dramatizing the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust, bringing vivid fear and suspense to her captivating story. It makes for altogether memorable and essential reading. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2018 Gr 6 Up—"To die was easy, to live was harder." Thus begins the story of Chaim and Gittel, Jewish twin siblings living during the time of the Nazi regime. Almost-mute Chaim and his sister struggle through everyday life during World War II. The decisions they make each day, even those that are minute, will affect their chances of survival. "We have chosen the more difficult path, that of life, now we must walk it." The siblings rely on each other and their uncanny ability to understand the other's thoughts through their own sign language. The relationship will engross readers as they are drawn to the unimaginable circumstances with which the children are faced. Readers may find some of the content depressing and emotional though necessary to maintain the authenticity of the time and setting in which the story takes place. Fans of Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic will be engrossed in this story until the last page. Those who appreciate historical fiction, specifically works set during World War II, will find this an important addition. VERDICT History teachers and librarians alike will want to add this selection to their World War II—era collections.—Megan Honeycutt, University of West GeorgiaHigh School - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.