When your a teenager, family dinners are forced upon us, whether we like it or not.
In Jane Yolen’s 2000 novel, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Hannah Stern is a modern teenager who has grown up with her family’s stories of the Holocaust. After hearing them so many times, Hannah has become bored listening to them. Opening the door to Elijah during her family’s annual Passover Seder, Hannah finds herself in 1940’s Europe. World War II has started and the lives of Europe’s Jews are about to change for the worst.
In 1999, a TV movie based on the book aired with Kirsten Dunst in the lead role.
What I like about the book and the movie is that Hannah is just an ordinary teenage girl. She starts off as spoiled and unappreciative and only learns to appreciate her heritage when she relives the horrors of the Holocaust.
I highly recommend both.
“Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what girls are made of”
“Well behaved women seldom make history”.
From an early age, many young girls are taught to be respectable, quiet and nice. If a female chooses to act out or move away from the standard ideals of what a female should be, she is labeled a bad girl.
Bad Girls: Siren’s, Jezebels, Murderesses And Other Female Villains, written by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple and illustrated by Rebecca Gray was released last year. The book profiles women across history who chose to break the rules on how to be a female. The women they write about include Cleopatra, Mata Hari, Catherine The Great and Bonnie Parker.
I liked this book. Written in down to earth language with a colorful comic book style drawing that accompanies the mini biography of the women, this book is excellent. While the targeted age range for this book is 9-12, that does not mean that an adult can enjoy this book as much as a child would.
I recommend it.