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Paperback Milkweed (Readers Circle) Book

ISBN: 0439676959

ISBN13: 9780439676953

Milkweed (Readers Circle)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. A stunning novel of the Holocaust from Newbery Medalist , Jerry Spinelli He's a boy called Jew. Gypsy. Stopthief. Filthy son of Abraham. He's a boy who lives in the streets of Warsaw. He's a boy who...

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

Heartbreaking, but worth it.

This book will absolutely make you cry, but it is worth the read. Very touching and a story that will stick with you for years to come.

One of my favorite books

I really enjoyed the book. It took you to that time period, made you feel like you were there.

One of my favorite Nazi Era books.

Humbling, happy, sad. So many emotions packed into one book.

really excellent!

I don't really read holocaust books because they are just too sad, but I decided to give this one ago because of the great reviews I'd heard. It's about a young boy who doesn't know his own age and assumes that his name is "Stopthief". You follow him as he tells the story of the Holocaust through his own innocent eyes and you see the changes that he and the people he love go through. The majority of the book is not set in the concentration camps, but in the ghetto and the time before that, as the persecution began. It is written in a very simple style which gives a voice to Misha (previously "Stopthief") as he realizes and doesn't realize what is happening around him. The simple style means that horrible events can happen mostly without sentiment but very clearly and matter of factly. Misha himself is not particularly upset by dead bodies being slung onto carts, although the reader might be, but because of Misha's voice and the short chapters your attention is pulled elsewhere before the meaning really has a chance to sink in. I think this really helped show the innocence of the young boy and also make the book a lot easier to read and to take. I wouldn't recommend it to children much under 11 though because some parts, such as a man who particularly likes suffocating kids, are a bit gruesome and nasty for younger readers. Although I really didn't expect to actually enjoy a book about the Holocaust, Milkweed is completely compelling and is worth reading just for the loving little boy with a changeable name who can't keep still. It maybe sad in parts but I think it's worth it.


This is a story from the Holocaust. Spinelli has been able to do something quite remarkable in this novel. We read the book with our own knowledge of the events of the Nazi invasion yet we see the events through the eyes of a young boy who really does not comprehend what is happening to his country. The only name he knows to call himself is Stopthief because he survives by stealing. He is a child utterly and totally alone. He is given the name Misha by another boy who befriends and protects him. Misha's family becomes a group of homeless orphan boys scratching out a life on the streets of Warsaw. Misha is totally innocent, ignorant and naive so he only lives in the present. As we read of the Nazi invasion we know the horrors ahead. Misha, however, sees the "Jackboots" as something wonderful; he perceives their mocking salutes as a mark of respect. Their parade entering the city is a marvel to him though events he witnesses finally lead him to understand that being a Jew is dangerous. He is living with his friends in the the Warsaw ghetto. Behind the walls, his kind heart and small size allow him to sneak out and smuggle food back in for his friends. The reader fears for Misha though he feels no fear for himself. We ache for the child and adult searching for home and kinship. Spinelli allows the reader to hear, see and smell the insanity of the Holocaust. This is a book everyone should read. This story is timely, important and compelling.

A Great Book for Everyone

Hi, I am in 7th grade, and Milkweed was one of the best books I have ever read! Misha, who is the main character of the book, befriends another boy named Uri, and together they survive in the streets of Warsaw, Poland. Their life would have been fine, but the Holocaust had begun and Misha was forced into a ghetto, where he was crowded together with other orphans, Jews, and gypsies. While in the ghetto many people starved and died. Misha and his friends go through many hardships and injustices, but in the end Misha survives the Holocaust, and at an old age finally finds a true home. I thought this book was really good, although very sad, and I felt the ending was a little rushed, but all in all I thought that it was a well- written book, and I enjoyed it a great deal. Jerry Spinelli put in enough gruesome, and saddening details about the Holocaust to make you feel sad, but unlike some other Holocaust books they do not make you feel nauseous and queasy. It is definitely the type of book you can't put down, this is probably because of the main character, Misha. Misha is not a very smart boy, and he makes you want to scream in his ear and tell him what to do. As Misha learns about the world around him, you, the reader, also learn about the Holocaust and its cruelties. Because you only learn what Misha learns, you sometimes feel a little held back, but this only makes you want to keep reading even more. Jerry Spinelli also writes the book in an interesting format. He has lots of short, and strange- sized sentences. These, I believe, help give you the real image and feel of the book, although sometimes they do seem a little out of place. Milkweed was a fantastic book, and I recommend it to people of all ages!

Spinelli's Best!

As a 7th grade language arts and literature teacher, I read at least fifty young adult novels a year. Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli, is the best example in that category that I've read in a very long time. At first, I was skeptical because I viewed it as just another holocaust novel, but I was quickly drawn in by the unique perspective of the narrator and the fresh approach to the subject matter. The main character manages to rise above his circumstances but is believable at the same time as he is scarred for life by the atrocities he witnesses and experiences first hand in the Warsaw ghetto of WWII. Spinelli's ability to insert touches of humor in such a bleak setting are brilliant. I have recommended this book to people of all ages and only wish that it was a suitable read-aloud. It doesn't lend itself to that as there are frequent points where Spinelli's choppy, but appropriate, style is hard to follow as a listener, and one often wants to go back and check the facts. The book deserves a better cover, and I hope that bookstore browsers will pick it up anyway. Once they do, it will be hard to put down.

Heartbreaking yet Hopeful

Jerry Spinelli has crafted a stark and horribly vivid portrayal of the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, Poland during WWII.Through the eyes of a young vagabond we see a childlike view of what it was like to live through this horrific time.Misha is a young boy who is orphaned and living on the streets. He is told he is a gypsy and given the name Misha, by his friend and protector Uri.From this point on Misha progresses in his understanding of all that is going on around him... he comes face to face with "Jackboots", Nazi soldiers... "Flops", turncoat Jews tormenting their own people... and those being persecuted-- Jewish people.The saddness of this story comes through loud and clear when Misha becomes attached to the Jewish family, the Milgorms. Misha befriends, Jainna a young girl and quickly becomes part of the family and embraces his background as a Jew.I applaud Spinelli for writing this book. I realize there are many books written for middle school students on the Holocaust, but we must never stop reading about it... if we do we may forget just how terrible it really was. And if we, as tolerant caring people forget the horrors, we could easily slip back into the cruelty and utter stupidity of the Nazi tormentors. We must never become like them.... ever!This is a mistake from history no one should ever repeat! So as you read this... remember that all people have value and it's our job to make sure we never allow something like the holocaust to happen again.
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