Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf

12-year-old Milada Kraliĉek loved her life in Lidice, Czechoslovakia with her family and best friend, Terezie. But in June of 1942, everything changed. Nazi soldiers stormed their home and took the women and children to a school gym. As later stated, all the men were immediately shot. It was here that her grandmother told her: "Remember who you are, Milada. Remember where you are from. Always." However, she was taken away from her family, and trained to become a German ideal citizen. She was told that her eyes, hair, head, and nose all fit the Aryan ideal for her to become the perfect citizen. She was to forget that she was ever a young Czech girl by the name of Milada, and was given the new name Eva. At a Lebensborn center in Poland, she spoke German every day, and soon forgot her native language of Czech, and for a while, forgot her name. Two years later, she was adopted by a Nazi family, and she had a new sister, brother, mother and father. However, she still missed her old family, and hoped they will one day come back for her. Finally, in June of 1945, three years after they were first separated, Milada and her mother were reunited. Her grandmother's words guided Milada back to her mother, and she will forever remember who she is.

Even though Wolf put powerful flows of emotion into the book, I believe that it is not quite enough. World War II was a devastating war, from all points of view. Therefore, the feelings in this book should be strengthened to make the story fully effective. However, this book opens up a different point of view: from the Germans. Usually, books about WWII are about the Jewish people, but this book is different. It is mainly about the daily lives of the Nazis throughout most the book. The research is very well done, and it was inspired by true stories. At the beginning, it was kind of easygoing, and rather simple. For example, the birthday party at the beginning seemed unnecessary. However, as the story went on, I got more engaged with the book, and it gets a little more exciting. At the end of the book, Milada went home to her mom without saying goodbye to the family that took care of her for a full 13 months. That surprised me a little, even though I knew that Milada didn't really like the Nazi family. The story never really reached the point where I thought a story about WWII should be. When I compare this story about WWII to others I've read, this seemed a bit simpler, and fit for early middle school readers. Overall though, this book was accurate, and a reader can learn a lot about the war from reading it. I enjoyed reading the book, and I'm sure others will too.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age: 13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Milpitas, CA USA

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