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Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     I can’t decide what’s more delightful in this selection — the plot or the photos. When I first heard about the book, I knew I had to read it, and was lucky enough to receive a copy for my birthday. I didn’t expect the storyline to be as it was in the beginning of the book, but it altered to  fantasy as the story progressed, and there was no disappointment to overshadow my zeal. The reader is immediately sucked into the tale of a teenaged boy who is closer to his grandfather than anyone else on earth. He listens, with awe, to the old man’s tales of his childhood during WWII’s horrible events.

     A Jewish orphan, Grandpa Abe lived in a huge orphanage on a secluded island, but, sadly, did not escape the wrath of the war. He faced a double genocide — Jews by Nazis and peculiars by hollowgast. (You’ll just have to read the book to make sense of that last sentence.) I am scurrying to back pedal now, because I am tempted to tell more about the plot, but I don’t think I should.

     The photographs are all vintage, and borrowed from ten (including the author’s) collections. They range from strange, to bizarre, to eerily familiar. It prompted this reader to go through her old family albums, and she discovered that a great many of  her own pictures would appear extremely odd to those who didn’t know the story behind them. But the photos in this novel are extraordinary, as there was no room for the ordinary. This book was published by Quirk Books, and they can consistently be trusted to supply us with very different and rather eccentric selections, so hooray for them! And hooray for Riggs and a magnificent book that can instill in young readers a respect for what previous generations lived through. For older readers, it can reinforce their knowledge that although our bodies change, we are always the same children inside.



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