Milkweed - Jerry Spinelli

Thursday 8 March 2018



Genre: Novel
Published: 1st September 2005
How long did it take me to read: 3 days

Hello! I am a day late on posting my weekly book review because I have been SWAMPED with work and decided to put my university project above posting. Today, I decided to do a slightly older book than I normally write about. I read a lot of books in my spare time and the topics that they encompass changes a lot. However, I thought I might take the time this week to look at one of my absolute favourite books.
Milkweed is based in Warsaw during the Holocaust. Our main character is a young boy who guides us through World War Two. He is a child living in the war, he doesn't have any parents and the only fact that he definitely knows about himself is that he is Jewish. I'm sure I don't have to retell you what happened during the Second World War and there are plenty of fictional stories that are based around it. However, there is something so refreshing about this tale. Being written from a young boy's point of view, the reader is left in the dark a lot. We are misled often and get explained a lot of heartbreaking details of the main characters live through a fun, misunderstanding children's voice. For example, the Nazi Soldiers within this book are called 'Jackboots' because of their big, black boots. We are never told they are Nazi Soldiers, we are just left to assume they are by the young narrator. It's strange but different and almost heartwarming in amongst such a gloomy event.
The protagonist is called many things like 'thief', which because of his age and lack of parental influence, thinks his name is in fact, 'thief'. Later in the tale, we find out his name is Misha and he begins to find friends within the war. Misha is small, as he is a child. He learns that he can fit through tiny gaps and retrieve food for his other friends. This is was a dangerous job in World War Two, but we are told through the enchanting voice of the child narrator, that we barely notice.

I feel that many tales about Nazi Germany weave into the same gloomy story, however, this story is refreshing in a way. We, as a reader, are forced to hear about some horrendous events but we are charmed at the same time by the child's narration voice. This book was released a lot later than the books I normally review. Therefore, I feel it is okay to spoil the ending. If you don't want to know the ending, stop reading now!

The ending to this tale is why I love the book so much. As you can see from the picture above, this book is very well loved, the spine is broken and the corners are creased. This is my comfort book. When I am down, I will read Milkweed, when I am happy, I will read Milkweed. When my local Waterstones is boring me with all the new releases, I will read Milkweed.
Within the first final chapter, we are shown Misha again, in a post-war world. He is happy, he has children, he has grandchildren. He now has a name and it is 'poppy noddle'.
Despite my adoration for this book, I only gave it four stars. I have read many a book by Jerry Spinelli, including Star Girl, which I would recommend even more than Milkweed. However, this doesn't mean that Milkweed is any less than it. I loved every, believable character within this novel and that's why I continue to go back.

From cover to cover, I will continue to live in my routine of going back to this book. Jerry Spinelli is well known for this charming children narrators and I would highly recommend anyone this book. If you want a good read, but aren't scared of hearing some real-life events thrown in with some fiction. Then this is definitely the book for you!
You can find a copy on my favourites page!

Join the conversation!

  1. Great post, I will definitely get a copy of the book to read! x

  2. wow! love this a lottt

  3. Sounds very interesting.. Great post ��
    DD blogger ��

  4. March 2018 at 13:05

    Great post again love it����

  5. Wow love it Great post 💕💕
    Ayemanqashif 😊💕


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