The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender

Author: Ruth Minsky Sender
Published: August 1, 1997

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 23- July 2, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

After Mama is taken away by the Nazis, Riva and her younger brothers cling to their mother’s brave words to help them endure life in the Lodz ghetto. Then the family is rounded up, deported to Auschwitz, and separated. Now Riva is alone.

At Auschwitz, and later in the work camps at Mittlesteine and Grafenort, Riva vows to live, and to hope – for Mama, for her brothers, for the millions of other victims of the nightmare of the Holocaust. And through determination and courage, and unexpected small acts of kindness, she does live – to write the unforgettable memoir that is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

Jessica’s Review:

As long as there is life, there is hope”.

This is a powerful memoir of the author’s experience in WWII and the concentration camps, including Auschwitz.  Riva loses her mother in a raid and begins to raise her younger brothers. They face many unbelievable hardships and you wonder how much more they must go through.  Will they all survive? There are also some unexpected kindnesses by  some Nazi captors. At times it is hard to believe that this is a memoir. We humans can be so inhumane to each other for no reason.

This is written for the younger audience and would be appropriate for at least ages 12 and up.  I listened to the Scholastic audiobook which is meant to be listened to as you read the book. There is a ‘narrator’ to help with understanding the novel. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Lost Girls of Paris

Author: Pam Jenoff
Published: January 29, 2019
384 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating:  4 stars

Book Description:

1946, Manhattan. Grace Healey is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war, and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances

Kim’s Review:
I’ve been eyeing this book for weeks now. It was on sale at Target so I snatched it up. I read it sitting on the beach in the sunshine and loved it! This is easily my favorite of Jenoff’s works. This book was far more plot driven than some of her others. I also loved the historical research side of this story. I kept asking myself why they didn’t just google some of the names of the girls, but then I had to remind myself that there was no internet back in 1946 . . . Duh. And did she portray government in a completely accurate light! T

he mystery surrounding the photos and the girls kept me guessing through the whole book. I would tell you why I gave it 4 stars, but I’d be giving away too much so I can’t. This is a really good look into espionage in WW2 and I liked all the detail. I think this is a great book for anyone who likes historical fiction. The characters were all likable and believable. I definitely recommend it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


A Voice as Soft as a Honey Bee’s Flutter by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

A Voice as Soft as a Honey Bee’s Flutter: Inspired by Psalm 46
Author and Illustrator: Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Published: July 8, 2019
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 25, 2019
Jessica’s Rating:  4 stars

Book Description:

Teaching children to know God and to hear His voice can be challenging. In A Voice as Soft as a Honey Bee’s Flutter, you and your young readers alike will journey through the story of an African American boy who learns to hear God’s voice in the busyness of everyday life. Your little ones will be encouraged to know God and hear His voice while learning to trust Him through the story inspired by Psalm 46.

Jessica’s Review:

This children’s picture book is the true story of the author’s brother that is also based off verses of Psalm 46.  It shows children that God is our place of safety and gives us strength in times of trouble.

I liked how the bee was a constant in the illustrations throughout the story.  The bee shows us how God is always with us.  The colorful watercolor illustrations perfectly helped to capture the moods of the story.  The illustrations bought to life the feel of darkness and fear when called for and then the light of hope at the end of the story. I liked how the illustrations showed us African American characters.  I feel we need more stories that show diversity in characters, especially when the books are for younger children.

This story calls for us to remember to take some time out and remember to “Be still, and know that I am God.” It also encourages Bible reading by mentioning the exact verses that this story is based off of and other verses to knowing more on God.

As this is a story of the author’s younger brother, there is one page that tells us briefly of his life.  He was the middle of five children.

This children’s picture book is recommended. Special thanks to the publisher for granting me an e-arc copy to read and review via NetGalley.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US *Publication Day is July 22, 2019*
Amazon UK *Already published in the UK*