Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Yep, this book tore me apart. The fact that this book ended so well, I was beginning to think whether I'm able to do this book justice by reviewing my thoughts.
So, I would just put in my favourite quotes and further explained my thoughts from there, here goes:
"He was constantly whistling a tune called the Radetzky March, and all the kids in town would call out to him and duplicate that tune."
The life in Himmelstrasse Molching (Heaven Street), Germany was described with bursting colours, life goes even during times of oppression. Kids are seen here were mischievously rascal to many of the folks in this street. How beautifully it has been described as the story progresses...
"Papa looked up. “Mistakes? I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but not joining the Nazi Party isn’t one of them."
A very powerful statement from a fellow German himself. Many of the bad eggs has joined this so-called party in view of Hitler's vision. However, Hans Hubermann here proves to be a veteran in the army, whom he has served during World War I and never once agree that Jews are any different from the rest.
"The word communist + a large bonfire + a collection of dead letters + the suffering of her mother + the death of her brother = the Führer"
An equation was formed by Liesel Meminger during her Nazi Youth parade gathering. As the session further develops, the creation of this equation sums up her tragic life story in which she cannot control her hatred towards Hitler. This was where the truth sets on Liesel. I can't help but to feel the sorrow in her eyes with the crowd chanting endlessly.
"He was not well-educated or political, but if nothing else, he was a man who appreciated fairness. A Jew had once saved his life and he couldn’t forget that. He couldn’t join a party that antagonized people in such a way."
In reference to Quote 2, Papa Hans Hubermann was a good man. A very good man indeed that I have bonded with this character ever since Liesel Meminger stepped foot in his house. He is a character that carries that fatherly warmth and loving care and as a human being, his personality was written so beautifully.
A SMALL EXCERPT FROM THE WHISTLER (a made up book)
"She lay there, frightened, in a pool of blood, a strange tune singing in her ear. She recalled the knife, in and out, and a smile. As always, the whistler had smiled as he ran away, into a dark and murderous night."
There were so many good things happened through out the course of the book and while Liesel read this excerpt, this mental image of cold blooded murder just robbed away so many good things that has happened in her life. As in during this war period, many of the good things has been robbed away by just a WORD vision. Was Markus asking his readers to get ready for the ugly?
"What? Is there a monster down there?" Papa asked
Max, the Jew has been placed in their basement to seek refuge. Whilst Papa ask Liesel to stick back to her routine by reading the book, she was afraid and when Papa asked this question in which made me, as the reader, smile, everything was restored by the mere fact Quote 5 literally stomped me by a down hill surprised.
"The Jew stood before him, expecting another handful of derision, but he watched with everyone else as Hans Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread, like magic. When it changed hands, the Jew slid down. He fell to his knees and held Papa’s shins. He buried his face between them and thanked him."
From a reader's POV, a German who is also suffering from the events of World War II, this scene makes it even more gut wrenching-ly heartbreaking. I've teared. Simple act of kindness goes a long way regardless of race and religion. So beautiful!
Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Review Link
Sunday, November 1, 2015
**I was given this book with an honest review.**
It has been years that I've picked up a children's book to read. I do not remember myself reading any children's book for the past 10 years. I dare say this because I've volunteered in teaching English to the under privilege kids who doesn't have the opportunity by exposing themselves with the English language. Hence, I've read quite a bunch back then.
Alright, back to reviewing this book. This book is fun! It is easy to read, simple to understand, no hidden stories behind (unless it's in the second book). I like Little Jakey and his adventure in searching for his new house and home. There are some big words, which I think it's a good learning curve in which I assume the audience is maybe around the age of 7 to 8 which is during their first few years of elementary.
The art is vibrant and catches my attention on how adorable Little Jakey, the great panther can be. Many of the illustrations depicts the forest with great depths and how easy it is to distinguish trees and bushes. Might I say, the art on the river fall seems beautiful! This add to a great bed time story for the little ones too!
About the Author:
Richard Edgley grew up in United Kingdom on the outskirts of Chester. He has lived all over the world, working and travelling. This is the first book of a series.
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Animals / Big Cats
Author: Richard Edgley
Format: Paperback, 28 pages
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency (SBPRA)
Pub date: August 2014
Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Review Link