Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
On the library shelves: YA Fiction
AR Reading Level: 3.6
Awards: Booklist Editors' Choice; Parent's Guide Book Award/ Honor Book; Golden Kite Award/Honor Book
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
novel is set in Warsaw during World War II. It features a homeless boy
who has no past and doesn't even know his own name. He is befriended by
an older boy named Uri and given the name of Misha. Uri invents a past
for Misha and tells him he is a gypsy. Even though being a gypsy in
Nazi-occupied territory is bad, being a Jew like Uri is worse.
Eventually Misha and the other street boys are moved into the Jewish ghetto. There they experience the horrors of hunger, sickness, filthy living conditions and torturous rule by the Nazis. Eventually many are sent to the concentration camps, but Misha escapes.
I normally love Jerry Spinelli but I was so disappointed
this was the one required summer reading book for my rising 7th grader.
This book is very unlike his other novels and I felt that he was going
for shock value instead of literary value. I read the book in one
sitting because I just wanted to be done with it as quickly as possible.
I failed to connect with the characters and the book felt vague, dark,
Also reviewed by: Diary of an Eccentric ~ Your link here?
5 hours ago