If I'd known this was a young adult book, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. If I wasn't committed to the Canadian Book Challenge, I probably would have put it down half way. But I persevered, and I don't feel like reading it was a waste of time.
Ms Wiseman says in the Acknowledgements that the events chronicled in the story are the recollections of her parents before, during and after the Holocaust. Kanada is divided along those same timelines, Limbo, Hell, Paradiso. The heroine, Jutka is transported out of Limbo straight to Hell. Does she, at the end, find Paradise?
I think, collectively, we have become a little (tragically) jaded toward the horrors of the Nazi plan. We know what happened in Auschwitz, in the gas chambers and cattle trains. For me, reading about these horrors in a first person voice is a little jarring, a first person child's voice, a little more so, but it's not so different that I couldn't put the book down, not so excruciating that I couldn't put in a book mark and go make dinner.
I'm going to offer this book to the history department at the high school. Like Anne Frank, Eva Wiseman offers a personal view of the War that might strike a chord and bring history a little more alive.