The book my class was told to do our book reports was on Milkweed. This book is written by the famous author Jerri Spinelli. In this novel, there are three main characters which are Misha Pilsudski, Janina Milgrom, and Uri. Misha is a young boy in the beginning of the story that has no family, lives on streets, and steals food from people to stay alive. He later joins a big group of kids who also steal food, and they live together in places that are abandoned. The leader of this group in called Uri. Uri is a very intelligent, young man who has red haired.
Since he doesn’t look like a Jew, he ends up becoming a Jackboot at the end of the story. Janina Milgrom is a Jewish little girl who meets Misha when he steals food from her garden. This book is set in the year 1939 when World War 2 is barley starting out in Warsaw, Poland. It’s happens during the Holocaust. Another possible theme for this book is that your identity means everything. Before Uri named Misha, Misha was a nobody. He had no friends, and he just kept on running for forever. His identity was born when Uri gave him his name and his fake life story under the barbershop.
Misha was very proud of his identity, and when somebody asked him who he was, he said his story it like it was the greatest thing in the world to him. One event in the story that contradicts this is when Uncle Shepsel tries to give up his identity as a Jew. His efforts were pretty good, but they still weren’t successful in the end. The last possible theme that I think is good for this book is to never have fear and if you do have fear, you won’t survive. One event that supports this theme is when Uri tells the other orphan boys that if you have fear you won’t survive on the streets.
This is true because if the boys had fear to steal the food from stores and people they would mess-up a lot or not even do it. If that happened, they would either get caught and killed, or just end up starving cause of hunger. They key point of stealing the food was to be invisible and if you had fear, you wouldn’t be invisible. I learned many things about the historical events that occurred in this story. I learned that all the Jews had to move to a place called “the Ghetto”. It seems weird that people can be so mean to others just because they’re a different religion but they’re still good people on the inside.
Another thing I learned was what the Holocaust was. I never really understood what it was, and surprisingly it’s very interesting to learn about once you get deeper into it. I’m actually very shocked in learning how the way people used to live during those times. It’s crazy to think that little kids my age and even younger would be living in the streets stealing food for a way to survive. Also it’s unbelievable, how it says that a lot of different families can would be sharing space in a tiny room. I was very surprised while reading this book because I didn’t think I would end up liking it.
It was actually very good, and it taught me many things I didn’t know about how times were in other places back then. I liked how the author described everything very detailed, and while I was reading the book I could picture some events in my time. It got me thinking of how fortunate I am right now, in having all the things I have. One thing I didn’t like was that the chapters were very short and it would make it harder for me to stop reading it. I would recommend this book to my friends. Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli was an overall good book.
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