Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

2015-09-24 06.47.07

Title: Paper Hearts
Author: Meg Wiviott
Genre: Holocaust Fiction
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

Amid the brutality of Auschwitz during the Holocaust, a forbidden gift helps two teenage girls find hope, friendship, and the will to live in this novel in verse that’s based on a true story.

An act of defiance.
A statement of hope.
A crime punishable by death.

Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom.

Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches. She kept it always.

This novel is based on the true story of Fania and Zlatka, the story of the bond that helped them both to hope for the best in the face of the worst. Their heart is one of the few objects created in Auschwitz, and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Written in verse, Paper Hearts was a mix of emotions. It was sad, horrifying, and beautiful all at the same time.

This is a work of fiction, but is based on true facts and events. At the end of the book, the author explains what really happened, what she changed, and what knew and didn’t know.

The story explains how a group of young woman lost most (if not all) of their family during the Holocaust. They found each other and stuck together helping one another out and being strong for each other.

It’s a quick read being told in verse–I read it in under two hours. Yet, the poetry made it seem more real.

The poems are broken up into chapters alternating between two POVs. There were two main girls so I found this to be a good idea and fun to read from their own points of view.

My only complaint is that the character’s name is written at the top of each chapter beginning to show the POV, but there wasn’t much difference in the poetry. Sometimes I forgot which character I was reading so I had to flip back a few pages to look at the beginning of the chapter again.

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Surviving was the best revenge.” –Meg Wiviott, Paper Hearts

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

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The Boy On The Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

2015-07-09 19.29.21

Title: The Boy on the Wooden Box
Author: Leon Leyson
Genre: Autobiography
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my mom’s bookshelf

Summary (from Amazon):

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Inspiring.

Breathtaking.

This book is an autobiography written by Leon Leyson, a Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust. He was only ten-years-old when the Nazis took over.

Leon survived because of Oskar Schindler as well as the strength of his family.

It’s a quick, easy read and has more than enough information. The first chapter explains background on Leon, his family, and his life before the Nazis. The rest of the novel–up until the last chapter–is his experiences being held captive by the Nazis and working for them as well as trying to stick with his family as they keep getting split up.

There’s an afterward of letters written by Leon’s children as well as pictures.

It’s a sad tale, but has a happy ending. I think this is a story that everyone should read.

The Boy on the Wooden Box gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“A hero is an ordinary human being who does the best of things in the worst of times.” –Leon Leyson, The Boy on the Wooden Box