Monday, April 20, 2020

The Story That Cannot Be Told by J. Kasper Kramer - ESSENTIAL

The Story That Cannot Be Told by J. Kasper Kramer, 371 pages. Atheneum (Simon), 2019. $18.                  

Content: G



Ileana loves to collect stories and she writes them down in her books. By the time she is 11yo she has a big collection of stories. Her stories are folk tales and legends, and stories about what life is like in Romania in 1989, and how life used to be before the communist rule. She has stories about going with her dad late at night to watch illegal American movies, stories criticizing the leader of the country and other stories that might get her and her family in danger if someone found out. Her parents fear for Ileana’s life after her uncle disappears for telling stories. Ileana is sent to stay with grandparents she does not know, in the mountain, far away from the city. She learns caution, and eventually sees the brutality the soldiers are with the people in their little village. This is a gripping story, built on true events in Romania right before the fall of communism in 1989.

I really loved Ileana’s story; I could not put it down. Kramer’s writing taught me about the effects of communism in Romania on regular people, even children. The language and description  made me feel what it would be like to live in constant fear of your life, fear of soldiers, fear for the lives of your family, your friends. The details about the Roma people and about Romanians, their culture and their food taught me a lot.                  

Ellen-Anita, Librarian

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