Thursday, September 29, 2011


Spinelli, Jerry. Milkweed

New York, NY: Random House, 2003. Print.

Annotation: A young boy is rescued by orphans in Nazi-occupied Warsaw during World War II. It is the survival of Misha as he learns what is happening to the world around him.

Review: This is a compelling story through the experiences of Misha, a gypsy, a thief, a Jew – he is not sure but defiantly an orphan. He really doesn’t have a name or history until an older street orphan, Uri, finds him. Uri tries to teach him the street life and keep him safe but Misha really doesn’t understand what is going on around him as the Nazi with their shiny boots make the basic needs of shelter and food almost impossible. When the misfits and Jews are forced into the ghetto, he uses his skills as a thief that gets him adopted by a Jewish family. He learns about caring and belonging when the outside world is trying to destroy him. Through Misha’s eyes the events of the Holocaust unfold as the trains take away the orphans and the only family he thought he had. Misha realizes that being nobody is the safest way to be in order to survive.

Awards & Honors

  • Golden Kite Award (2003)
  • ALA Best Young Adult Books (2004)
  • National Jewish Book Award

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Outsiders

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders the outsiders image

New York, NY: Viking Press, 1967. Print.

Annotation: Ponyboy, his brothers and friends are the Greasers just trying to get by without the trouble the rich kid Socs give them. Each group must decide how they will handle the situation when things go to far and one member is killed.

Review: Trouble seems to find the Greasers when they just want to be left alone. Ponyboy has his brothers and a group of friends that stick together when they have no one else to turn to. Why is it that the Socs, who are the affluent kids have nothing better to than beat up the Greasers? This story shows that there are problems no matter where you live and that it is up to you to make the right choice even when your life is on the line.

Awards & Honors:

  • New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Books List, 1967
  • Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book, 1967
  • Media and Methods Maxi Award, 1975
  • ALA Best Young Adult Books, 1975
  • Massachusetts Children’s Book Award, 1979
  • Appears on the ALA 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000. #43

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