Monday, December 3, 2012
The Secret of the Village Fool by Rebecca Upjohn
Milek and his brother Munio live in a sleepy village in Poland, where nothing exciting seems to happen. They reluctantly do as their mother asks when she asks them to visit their neighbor Anton, knowing that the rest of the village laughs at him because of his strange habits of speaking to animals and only eating vegetables. Things change quickly when war comes to their town in the form of Nazi soldiers searching for Jewish families like that of Milek and Munio. Anton refuses to tell the soldiers where to find them, and then goes so far as to hide the family in his own home, putting his life at risk without a thought. Based on a true story.
The Secret of the Village Fool was a great educational children's book. Not only will the children like it for the eye catching illustrations and interesting story line but adults will like it as well because it teaches factual information about WWII. The book is about a man named Anton. He thinks and acts differently than everyone around him so he becomes known as the village fool. One day, the Nazis come looking for all the Jewish boys. Anton helps a couple of the boys hide, along with their family. Suddenly when the war is over, Anton is transformed from the village fool to the village hero. I think the author did a good job of writing the story so that younger children could understand it. She was able to simplify it while still making it realistic and accurate. The illustrations in this book are wonderful. They add a lot of detail to the story. I am especially fond of Zipora teaching the boys to play cats cradle. It shows that even in the midst of tragedy good things can happen. I liked that there was short section in the back of the book explaining what happened to the characters after the story was over. I recommend this book for children ages 8 and older. I also recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn about true events in WWII.
I give The Secret of the Village Fool: 5/5.
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I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.