Review: A Boy Is Not a Ghost
A Boy Is Not a Ghost
by Edeet Ravel
Category: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Merle Eisman Carrus
A Boy is Not a Ghost is an incredible story. Written by Edeet Ravel as a sequel to A Boy is Not a Bird, it is the story of a young boy caught up in life during the Second World War in Russia. Readers will feel like they have stepped into the shoes of Natt Silver and really understand what it was like to live through this horrific experience.
Natt is twelve years old as he rides with his mother and their neighbors in the cattle car of a train headed for Siberia. He describes in perfect detail the sounds, smells and crowded conditions on the train as they slowly travel across Russia for two long months. The food is scarce and the weather gets colder as they travel north. His father is in a Gulag or prison under extreme conditions. He and his mother do not know where they are going to end up or what life will be like there. Then his mother is falsely arrested.
Natt learns that he needs to have two sides to himself, an outside Natt and a secret Natt. He is going to practice not calling attention to himself, so that when he has to move on no one will notice he is gone. He will keep a part of himself hidden from everyone. Natt says the life he is living in Siberia can make a person feel like a ghost.
He must use all his cleverness and bravery to make friends and work hard. He will need his friends and some luck to help him survive as he struggles to find his way back to his mother and tries to reunite his family.
This book is so beautifully written. It is appropriate for middle school readers and it is such an incredibly poignant and touching story that it is also an important story for adult readers. Ravel has written this novel based on the true story of her fifth grade teacher, Nahum Halpern, who shared stories of his childhood with his students.
This book is so beautifully written. It is appropriate for middle school readers and it is such an incredibly poignant and touching story that it is also an important story for adult readers. Ravel has written this novel based on the true story of her fifth grade teacher, Nahum Halpern, who shared stories of his childhood with his students. This novel is a contender for the Sydney Taylor award because it shows the diversity of ways the Jewish people were treated during the Second World War. Each country had different ways the Jewish people were expelled from their homes and their freedoms taken away. There was the threat of Hitler and the Final Solution, which was the genocide of the Jewish people and there was Stalin who, though his campaign posters depicted him as kind man, was also ruthless and targeted the Jews and other minorities. Natt Silver shows readers how to survive the many challenges during these two major historical events.
Are you interested in reviewing books for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze? Click here!