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Book Review: The War Within These Walls

The War Within These Walls (4 star review)

The War Within These Walls

written by Aline Sax

176 pages // published in 2011 // YA historical fiction


It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.Heavily illustrated with sober blue-and-white drawings, this powerful novel dramatically captures the brutal reality of a tragic historical event.

My Review

4 Star Rating

A hard-hitting look at one family's survival in the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. In fact, it's told from first-person perspective, so it's exactly like seeing it through young Misha's eyes.

Yes, there's some gruesome/graphic scenes. Yes, there's pain and hurting on these people's faces. Yes, you're going to see and feel the pain for yourself.

The Nazis have taken over Warsaw, but the ghetto is uprising. The Jews in the area are being persecuted (the book fills the reader in on what the Jewish people could and could not do). As Misha in the story says, “I had never felt so Jewish before.” Because it never really mattered before the Nazis arrived. But the ghetto will not be downtrodden forever...

It's a fairly short read. I finished it in just a couple of sittings. But there's a big story behind these words and between these pages.

I'd recommend it for anyone 10 and up, but with a warning on some gruesome or violent content.

Available on Amazon in hardcover format.

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1 comment:

  1. Such a heartbreaking period of history, and yet I'm always drawn to novels set in this era. This sounds like a good one.