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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Yellow Star and A Sunday's List

I am compelled to write about Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy for just a moment. This is such an incredible book. No wonder people have been talking about it. Franki couldn't wait for me to read this. Jen Robinson's review told me how special this book is. And there were other reviews I read that just silently teased me...you're the only one out there who hasn't read the book...go get it.

When I finally located a copy of Yellow Star, I read the whole book in one sitting. It was a bit of an adjustment for me to read the book as it was written in the style of free verses. I have a habit of overanalyzing verses to try to find the hidden meaning behind the words. It soon became quite clear to me how perfect this style was for this book. So many thoughts told in simple sentences and short verses, all told from an innocent young child's point of view. An innocent young child's point of view. Who is sheltered and protected from the terror as much as possible by her family. Which only makes this book even more poignant and powerful--this must be a hundred thousand times even more terrifying to the adults who knew. I can't, no, I don't want to think about this, but I have to...what if this were one of my children or one of their friends. Forced by unbelievable circumstances to have to shoulder the weight of such a horrific time, unable to enjoy the innocence, joy and freedom of a simple, carefree childhood.

Let us not forget this happened not so long ago. You simply must read and see for yourself what happened to Syvvia and countless others. You will see how the bravery, the courage, the hope, the love for each other, the love for life, and respect from others helped Syvvia's family and other survivors live just one more day, despite all the fear and hopelessness. All truly heroes and heroines in my book.

Papa says that thinking about food
all the time is not uncommon
among people in the ghetto,
who are around starving bodies.
The mind can latch onto nourishment in this way.
"People have different ways of surviving the days,"
Papa says.
"We must honor our differences while we
find our own courage and our own strength
the best we know how."

Thank you Syvvia for sharing your story and letting us not forget. About what happened. About the people who survived. And the people who lost their lives. Thank you Jennifer Roy for finding a way to bring your Aunt Syvvia's voice into our lives.

The Sunday's List of Strong Girl Role Models

1. Syvvia, Dora, their mother, their father, and so many more - Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy. I have to make an exception for this book. There are so many amazing role models in this true story. All who chose to step up to the plate and show true heroism despite all that was lost. It is so clear they did not lose themselves in all the fear and rushed to help others regardless of what they could lose. Their own lives. A must read.

2. Queen of Attolia, Queen of Eddis and all the Goddesses from The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - Just as I loved the books The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, I loved this book as well. Megan Whalen Turner recreates a world of long ago where Queens rule kingdoms and men bow down to them. The Queen of Attolia and Queen of Eddis are both politically astute, excellent strategists, and just plain smart. Men and women worship and listen to the Goddesses. The Queens and Goddesses are oh so clever.

3. Ivy and Bean from Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall- Ivy and Bean are neighbors who are very different from each other. They quickly become friends after Bean torments her sister. They are funny, spirited and stand up for each other. One funny moment is when Bean wiggles her butt at her sister. Too funny.

4. Millicent Madding, Miss Ogelvie the librarian, Goody Constance Madding, long lost Aunt Felicity from The Misadventures of Millicent Madding: Bully-Be-Gone by Brian Tacang - This is a wacky fun adventure of brilliant Millicent Madding who invents a potion to fight off bullies. Add an inventor uncle, an eccentric club of school geniuses, a librarian who fights to protect books from destruction, bullies who fall in love with the very kids they bullied, and an amnesiac aunt who used to be a circus performer, and you've got a great story that's fun to read. The females in this book are smart and fiesty, unusual, inventive, speak up for themselves and just plain fun. A great read with great female characters.


Franki said...

I love these Sunday lists. So happy you loved Yellow Star. I knew you would!
I have got to read Millicent Madding. It has been on my list for a while. If it made your Sunday list, I am on it.
Can't wait to see whether the little girl in 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore makes your list!

Jen Robinson said...

Glad that you liked Yellow Star. Thanks for linking to my review. And thanks for another role model list. I actually just read the third Ivy and Bean book last night, and I am definitely recommending the series for new readers. As for Megan Whelan Turner books - I've only read The Thief so far, but I'm looking forward to the others.

Erin said...

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"For how long?" I ask Papa,
trying to sound brave.

"Until . . .
Until . . ."
Papa pauses and looks at the ceiling
as if the answer to my question is
up above us.

Finally he tells me he just doesn't know the answer,
that these days we cannot plan the future
but instead must go day to day,
trusting that there will be an end to this situation,
that a better life is ahead.

Later, I think about what Papa has said.
I try to picture a better life.
It is hard to do,
since I have known this one for so long.

such a wonderful book! And I enjoy reading your lists. :)

HipWriterMama said...

So glad you like these lists. Millicent Madding's story is totally wacky and very cool. And very cool a man wrote the book with all these smart girls. As for 17 Things...I can't wait to get this book and find out if these could be my kids!

Ivy and Bean are fun and I can't wait to get my hands on the other books. Can you believe I can't find any of these books locally? Thank goodness for Amazon.com. I really got into the Megan Whelan Turner books. She's a good example of an author who has consistently written great books.

I agree. I liked that quote too. Yellow Star speaks volumes.

Callipygia said...

I can't believe how you blast through these books. While i probably won't get around to reading them, your descriptions are moving.