Friday, February 23, 2018

Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen - ADVISABLE

Yolen, Jane Mapping the Bones, 432 pages.  Philomel, 2018.  $18.  Language: PG (20 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (Nazi brutality).

Gittel and her twin brother Chaim are living a poor but loving existence in a Jewish ghetto when another family of four is forced into sharing their meager rooms.  As the Nazi controls tighten, and the new father disappears, their parents lead all of them out into the woods and send the children off with partisans to hopefully escape.  Alas, the children are captured and taken to the Sobanek work camp to help manufacture munitions to aid the Nazi war endeavors.  Then the thoughtless words of one others brings Gittel and Chaim to the attention of the camp doctor, who wants to impress his mentor, Dr. Menegle, with his own experiments on twins.

While is no such place as Sobanek, Yolen captures the many different dimensions and variety of terrors perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II. It has been many years since Yolen wrote Briar Rose, another look at WWII that also loosely mimicked a fairy tale.  The connection is not as tight this time, but nonetheless the writing is superb and compelling. 

MS, HS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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