The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard
What’s it about?
This book follows a young Jewish boy, Aron, in Poland during World War II. Aron and his family are relocated into the Warsaw ghetto and we see what they must do to survive. Aron's life intersects with the life of Janusz Korczak (an actual historical figure in Poland). Janusz Korczak (Henryk Goldsmith) was a well known Polish pediatrician, educator, children's author, and radio personality before the war. He runs a children's orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto and refuses his freedom in order to stay with the children. In Korczak we see the best of us.
What did I think?
This fictional account of what happened in 1942 is heartbreaking and affirming at the same time. It is truly the story of how ordinary people acted in extraordinary ways- good and bad. I knew nothing of Janusz Korczak, and was so glad to have learned something about him.
Should you read it?
Their are many good books that feature the Holocaust out there. I would recommend adding this one to the list of required reading. Sometimes I feel like I can not read another account of what happened- it is too difficult. Then I think, if people could live through it I can learn about it and remember it. I do wonder if the written work can ever do justice to the horror of what happened during this time?
"My father called it the most miserable report he'd ever seen, and invited us to figure out how I had pulled it off. My mother said that I might've been getting better in some areas and he told her that if God gave me a second or a third life I'd still understand nothing. He said a person with strong character could correct his path and start again but a coward or weakling could not. I always wondered if others had such difficulty in learning. I always worried what would become of me if I couldn't do any thing at all. It was terrible to have to be the person I was."
What books would you recommend from this time period?
If you like this try-
Night by Elie Weisel
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
favorites from 2020
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!