#bookaday – Day 5: Doesn’t belong to me

A book that doesn’t belong to me? For a moment I thought I didn’t have one, but I do! My coworker just let me borrow a book that looks like it’ll be interesting. She’s a Social Studies teacher and she teaches a Holocaust based class for the eighth graders. I teach a literature circle unit on Holocaust themed books, and I expressed interest in quite a few. She loaned me this one and said it was intense but good. It’s on my shelf right now to read this summer, actually.

It’s not really a true story, but it seems fascinating. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed “Hansel” and “Gretel.” They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called “witch” by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children.

Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, Louise Murphy’s haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children. The True Story of Hansel and Gretal tells a resonant, riveting story.
I love retellings of fairy tales and myths, so this is intriguing. The idea that the “witch” isn’t evil like she always is in the tales paints a different picture.

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