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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