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Spinelli, Jerry. Milkweed. New York: Knopf, 2003.
2004 ALA Best Books for Young Adults
2004 Golden Kite Award for Fiction
Annotation: The heartwarming story of a true innocent, Milkweed shares the journey of an orphan eeking out an existence in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
"I like reading historical fiction because it based on real events." (Nicholas, 16).
Book Review: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but how about an orphan who answered to “Filthy son of Abraham?” This young boy, who also called himself “Stop Thief” and was later dubbed Misha by the orphan who took him under his wing; saw the world through innocent eyes. When viewed through his perspective, a reader revisits this horrific time with a renewed faith in the human spirit. Though Misha makes his living by stealing; he never takes more than he needs, and never fails to feed others. He provides for both the children in the orphanage and the family he adopted himself into. Indeed, his nimble swiftness ensures the survival of them all in the Warsaw ghetto.
At the end of the war, Misha comes to America and is given new name, Jack. Yet, the most beloved namesake will be waiting for him at the end of this book. This story reminds us that any trial can be improved when it is met with a kind heart and a generous nature. Especially if you never give up and have people to be loved by and to love.