Book Review: Kanada

Title: Kanada

Author: Eva Wiseman

Series: standalone

Genre: YA, Middle Grade, Historical

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Page Count: 300

Goodreads Summary:

Kanada. The name meant untold riches and promise to Jutka, a young Hungarian girl who was captivated by stories of a vast, majestic country where people were able to breathe free of hatred and prejudice. Freedom was in short supply, but hatred was everywhere in Hungary as hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported to concentration camps during the last year of WWII. Jutka, her friends, and her family are sent to Auschwitz.

In that hellish place, there was another Kanada. It was the ironic name given to the storehouse at Auschwitz where the possessions, clothing and jewelry stripped from the victims were deposited, and where Jutka was put to work.

The war may have ended, but it did not end the suffering of many of the inmates of concentration camps. Many had no homes to go to, and if they did, they were not welcome. Hundreds went back to Poland and were murdered. Famished, diseased, and homeless, they lived in the hopelessness of camps, wondering if they could ever find a home in the world. Some went to Israel, but for Jutka there was only one dream left her: the dream of a country full of hope, where she would no longer have to live in fear.

Eva Wiseman’s powerful novel describes the war and its long, difficult aftermath with compassion and tenderness.

My Thoughts:

Definitely have a box of tissues prepared for this book. I had gone into this completely blind, and ended up sobbing my eyes out.

My Review:

This was very good, although super sad as it’s another Auschwitz story. I hadn’t realized that in going in so allow me to inform you that you definitely should have a box of tissues prepared. Jutka is a believable character and the story is powerful, emotional, and full of historical references. From Hungary to Canada, this was a really good read. I can definitely see why it was the winner of the Geoffrey Bilson award back in 2007. Jutka, a young Hungarian girl, is just trying to survive and not get killed all because she was born a Jew. The story is told before, during and after World War 2. It’s beautifully written, and vivid with descriptions of the time and place of what it was like living as a Jew during that era.  It was quite sad, and yet Jutka pressed on and survived. Very recommended for those who like historical fiction!

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Paperback Book Review: Binti

BintiCover

Title: Binti

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Series: 1 of ?

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count 91

Publisher:  Tor

Type of Book: Paperback, Novella

Rated: 4.9/5 Stars!

Binti was a belated Christmas present by my grandmother who asked what I wanted this year, and I said books. I gave her a list of some of the most anticipated reads, and what kind of things I liked, and she found Binti among them. Granted, it was a lot shorter than either of us realized, but it was also very entertaining. My only single complaint was how short it is! I want more! 91 pages isn’t nearly enough for the excellent world-building that the author does!

I’ve been seeing this book pop up all over my social blogs that I follow, and am glad to jump on the band-wagon while the book is still fresh and popular. I also am pleased to add to the hype of this book, even despite how ridiculously short this book is. It was also yet another read for my mother, who only has time for ridiculously short books, and she too enjoyed this one immensely.

I really am interested to see if this will be turned into a television show or movie set. It would be a fascinating movie/tv show, and I know a lot of people would be eager to see it if it came to be.

Binti, herself, is one of my most favorite literary characters of the year. I really admire her strength in going out and achieving her dreams…even if her dreams are waylaid by mysterious dangerous aliens that only she can communicate with. I really felt as though Binti was a different version of Uhura from Star Trek, but only more bad ass than usual!

I can’t say enough good things about Binti. It was wonderful, epic, grand in scope. The characters were fascinating, and her people were intriguing. I loved everything about Binti, but I do wish that it was longer, and just…

I need more.

I rate this book an almost even 5 stars, only one part of a star taken off because its so short.

And now, as I’m adding the rest of the Binti series to my Amazon wishlist, you can,

-Pass Me That Book