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Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

Russka: The Novel of Russia
Edward Rutherfurd
The Man Who Could Be King: A Novel
John Ripin Miller
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
Mark Batterson
The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

The Old, Brown Suitcase by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz

The Old, Brown Suitcase: A Teenager's Story of War and Peace - Lillian Boraks-Nemetz

The author of this book personally lived through the atrocities of World War II as a child in Poland. Her family was Jewish and spent time in the Warsaw ghetto. These experiences are retold through her fictional character, who comes of age after escaping to Canada with the ghosts of Holocaust horrors following her.


Most of this book is a basic, if sometimes moving, look at the war that is acceptable for middle grade readers. There are only a few topics as Elizabeth moves into her teenage years that make this more of a YA read. Older teenagers will probably feel, like I did, that it is somewhat too simplistic.


The story flips back and forth between the main character attempting to create a new life in Canada after the war and her memories of the German occupation of Poland. With all the WWII novels out there, this one doesn't really have anything that makes it stand out, but it could be an introduction to the topic for younger readers.


I listened to this on audio, and the narrator did not particularly add to my enjoyment of the book with her stiff reading of the text.