As we continue our CYBILS-themed January-February, I am glad to feature one of the CYBILS Finalists for 2015. Thank you to Liz Steinglass for hosting this week.
Paper Hearts: A Novel Based On True Events
Written by: Meg Wiviott
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2015
Borrowed through inter-library loan. Book photos taken by me.
When I got this book via inter-library loan, I didn’t know that it was a novel-in-verse. I thought that it was a picturebook, and so this came as a pleasant surprise since I vowed to read more poetry and novels-in-verse this year.
The book is written in two voices: Zlatka and her friend Fania. Both girls are interned in Auschwitz and the reader gets to see the world through their eyes – from the time that they were with their family, to the time they were taken by German soldiers, their horrendous time at the concentration camp, and their eventual emancipation when the Allied forces came in and saved the day.
The friendship between the two girls, by its very nature, is already an act of defiance as they showed how hope can be nurtured amidst pain and torture. There were several parts that struck me as particularly well-written, and I took photos of the pages and edited them using an iPhone app. Here are a few of them which I wanted to share with you all for Poetry Friday today:
There is also a detailed Afterword that indicates which of the stories are true and which have been fictionalized by the poet’s piecing together of historical accounts through her extensive research of this mostly-true narrative.
Admittedly, I personally did not feel as moved as I think I should be by the story, having read so many Holocaust-themed stories – and the fact that I see the same thing happening again – only in a different context and with different rationales used. Despite this, I still feel that it would be a good primer to other young readers who may not feel as exhausted by war as I am.