Thursday, April 21, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: If I Should Die Before I Wake

If I Should Die Before I Wake ~ by Han Nolan ~ 5/5

Here's what I found on

From School Library Journal
Grade 7-12-Hilary Burke, a young Neo-Nazi, is in a coma after a motorcycle accident. Ironically, she has been taken to a Jewish hospital and shares a room with elderly Chana, an Auschwitz survivor. Instrumental in the kidnapping of her 13-year-old Jewish neighbor, Hilary hates all Jews and believes one caused her father's death. Through Chana's memories, the girl is transported back to World War II, experiencing for herself the horrors suffered by Polish Jews just trying to survive, first in the Lodz ghetto, then in the concentration camp. While the subject matter is certainly compelling, this first novel is not as powerful as Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic (Viking, 1988) or as chilling as Jay Bennett's Skinhead (Watts, 1991). Nolan does a better job of portraying Chana than Hilary or her Bible-quoting mother, but Mrs. Burke's dysfunctional personality and Hilary's problems with her are clear. Interspersed are Biblical passages that are sometimes appropriate to the text, but often unnecessary and distracting. The ending is predictable and soppy: Chana dies leaving an album full of family photos to Hilary. Stick to the numerous, excellent-quality, existing examples of Holocaust literature.Jo-Anne Weinberg, Greenburgh Public Library, NYCopyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

My thoughts:

I was intrigued by this book. I enjoyed learning about the Nazi's and some of what they did to the Jews back then. Some of the things were horrible & terrible. I couldn't get my attention off that book. When I tried to put it down, I was so curious to know what happened next. I just had to pick it back up!!

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