Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Waiting for Anya by Michael Morpurgo

I couldn't put down my book today: Waiting for Anya by Michael Morpurgo. I didn't really watch the clock, but it probably took less than 3 hours to read the 172 pages of this book. And what an exciting book!

The story is set during WWII in a small French village near the Spanish border. Jo, a 12 year old shepherd whose dad is a prisoner of war, stumbles upon a secret: a widow and her Jewish son-in-law are smuggling Jewish children across the border to Spain. However, the Germans move in to occupy their village, and, as Jo starts helping the children, the risk of being discovered escalates. If the smugglers are uncovered, it could mean death to them and the children they are trying to save.

The story was filled with little pieces of humor and a lot of suspense. The reader gets to know several people in the community, including Jo's grandfather (who was very enjoyable!) and Hubert, an older, lovable boy who is mentally handicapped. You also meet the Widow Horcado, who the fearful children have nicknamed "The Black Widow", and her son-in-law Benjamin, who was separated from his young daughter, Anya, as they were fleeing from the Germans, and he holds onto the hope that they will one day be reunited.

A wonderful book that I highly recommend!

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