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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If I Should Die Before I Wake

Han Nolan
Published 2003
312 Pages
Rating: B

Let me first start off by saying that I love learning and reading about the Holocaust. It's always been a favorite topic of mine since I've read Number the Stars in the 6th grade, it's just such a horrific and unimaginable part of history.

Hilary hates Jews.

As a part of a neo-nazi gang in her town, she's finally found a sense of belonging. But when she's critically injured in an accident, everything changes.

Lying near death in a Jewish hospital, Hilary finds herself bombarded by memories of a life in Poland. A life she never lived. Somehow, Hilary has become Chana, a Jewish girl fighting for her own life in World War II.

Forced from their home by the Nazis, Chana and her family struggle in the terrible Lodz ghetto, where starvation drives people to desperate acts and the streets are smeared with filth. Those strong enough to survive are shipped out-to the slaughterhouse at Auschwitz.

How can Chana-or Hilary-survive?

(Back of book synopsis)

Now, what attracted me to this book was the creative cover and the Swastika in the little girl's eye. I've never read anything by this author but I thought I'd give it a shot because of the topic. Hilary definitely bugged me in the beginning of course, with the insensitive way that she thought. But mostly, she was the way she was because she was just trying to fit in.

Then you start to learn about Chana, such a sweet and caring character, it's hard not to feel for her so deeply. Although I really enjoyed this book, I was slightly confused at times with the way that Nolan wrote.But it got much easier towards the end to understand what was happening; but in the beginning it was kind of frustrating not knowing what exactly was going on. All in all, this was a great book and I hope you decide to give it a shot.


1 comment:

  1. I agree,i think one of the main reasons that hilary hated jews was because she was jealous of the happiess of the happiness that litle Simon boy had. Also, the gang she was in was more of a family she had ever had, since her mom was suicidally depressed when her fther died, and of course, her father died, supposedly by the fault of a Jew.
    Also, would you happen to know Hilary's last name?


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