Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday Book Review

 


Five-star review of Once by Morris Gleitzman

This is a sad story but also a funny one because it’s told from the na├»ve viewpoint of ten-year-old Felix, the son of Jewish bookstore owners in Poland who was left in a Catholic orphanage three years and eight months before. He interprets all that’s going on around him in terms of his life with his parents and is desperate to get back to them. His voice is one of the strong points of the book. It’s 1942 and he doesn’t understand why three men in suits come to the orphanage and burn books. His descriptions of everything that happens to him is so poignant, because we don’t have to be told what’s really happening. This is a wonderful book for pre-teens and younger teens. Highly recommended for everyone. I’m eager to read the sequel.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tuesday Book Review

 


Five-star review of The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia, translated by Simon Bruni

 

A slow, beautifully written story about two boys growing up in northern Mexico between 1910 and 1920, during civil war, a world war, changes in major crops and the Spanish flu. From the moment Simonopio is found as an infant with a deformed mouth and bees lighting all over him, to his incorporation in the Morales-Cortes family, to the birth of Fernando Jr. several years later and Simonopio’s efforts to teach him all he knew, to the tragedy on Fernando Jr.’s birthday, we see how Simonopio and his bees helped his adoptive family. The lyricism of the translation must reflect on the original Spanish magical realism. The story is told from multiple viewpoints but ultimately from that of Fernando Jr.