This peek into the minutiae of life in hiding is transformed from mundane to poignant by the extraordinary circumstances of...

MY REAL NAME IS HANNA

This story of a family of Ukrainian Jews hiding in a cave during the Holocaust was inspired by actual events.

Told in the voice of an older woman looking back as she tells her daughter about her experiences, this is a carefully researched, often moving narrative of one family’s struggle and survival. Teenage Hanna’s family lived an integrated life in a shtetl in an area that was sometimes Polish, sometimes Austrian, and sometimes Ukrainian due to shifting borders. Hanna’s bucolic childhood involved attending school and helping her Christian neighbor decorate pysanky, traditional Easter eggs, while observing Jewish holidays and traditions at home. When Germany invades, the family finds themselves persecuted for their religion and eventually forced into hiding, along with other families, first in remote forest cabins and then for over a year in a series of caves with underground lakes. Hanna’s first-person narration has a nostalgic air, with often detailed descriptions that display the author’s research but detract from the story; at the same time, history is treated as personal, and the larger context of the Holocaust is only suggested. Despite these flaws, this is a moving story of survival and of the compassion of the Christian neighbor and forester who aided the families.

This peek into the minutiae of life in hiding is transformed from mundane to poignant by the extraordinary circumstances of time and place. (historical note) (Historical fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-942134-51-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Mandel Vilar Press

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not quite the wild ride of Skyward (2018) but still great fun.

STARSIGHT

From the Skyward series , Vol. 2

As if the threat of huge, raging monsters from hyperspace isn’t scary enough, hotshot fighter pilot Spensa Nightshade becomes embroiled in an alien empire’s politics.

On a desperate mission to steal hyperdrive technology from the crablike invading Krell who are threatening to destroy her beleaguered home colony on Detritus, Spensa, who is white, holographically disguises herself as a violet-skinned UrDail and slips into a Krell pilot training program for “lesser species.” The discovery that she’s being secretly trained not to fight planet-destroying delvers but to exterminate humans, who are (with some justification, having kindled three interstellar wars in past centuries) regarded in certain quarters as an irrationally aggressive species, is just one in a string of revelations as, in between numerous near-death experiences on practice flights, she struggles to understand both her own eerie abilities and the strange multispecies society in which she finds herself. There are so many characters besides Spensa searching for self-identity—notably her comic-relief sidekick AI M-Bot, troubled human friend Jorgen back on Detritus, and Morriumur, member of a species whose color-marked sexes create trial offspring—that even with a plot that defaults to hot action and escalating intrigue the pacing has a stop and start quality. Still, Spensa’s habitual over-the-top recklessness adds a rousing spark, and the author folds in plenty of banter as well as a colorful supporting cast.

Not quite the wild ride of Skyward (2018) but still great fun. (Science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55581-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

more