Lack of Chatz on Sat(urday)

Hi Sunflower companions!

I’m sure you were all extremely disappointed to miss your regular dose of petty sniping and vaguely book related talk so I have decided to make up for it by telling you about a book I’m reading at the moment, The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail.

WARNING! This is a rave, completely devoid of snide comments and lame jokes, so if you were looking for a Chatz on Sat(urday) replacement I’m sorry. You’ll just have to go bicker with your own brother or similar.

So The Wrong Boy follows the story of Hanna, a fifteen year old Hungarian girl who is expelled from her home and sent to Auschwitz. Hanna is a talented pianist and the sheltered younger daughter of a middle class family but once in the camp she must become the protector. With her mother slowly losing touch with reality and her siser Erika fading away, Hanna is selected to play piano for the Commander Jager and his guests, a job which earns the ire of her fellow prisoners. And that’s even before she starts talking to Karl, the Captain’s son who is hiding some secrets of his own…

This book is amazing, starkly and brutally depicting the horrors of Auschwitz while at the, same time, a human and touching story, beautifully told. While it’s marketed as a young adult novel I think is it (another) one of those great books that crosses over for an older reading audience. As in Morris Gleitzman’s Once series, the disbelief and innocence of a younger protagonist matches our own disbelief and inability to comprehend what happened.

Hanna is made vivid due to a wonderful mix of emotions: fear, hate, anger, shock, determination all bound together by love. The book also takes a fascinating look at the politics within the camp, from the brutal block leaders to the Polish prisoners who hate Hanna and her companions for their bodies still working.

The Wrong Boy is definitely a book worth reading for people of any age!

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