Thursday, 14 February 2013

Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine

With each loss of a friendship and each new restriction, Hana and George felt their world grow a little smaller. They were angry. They were sad. And they were frustrated.” - Hana's Suitcase

This is the real story of a little Jewish girl, Hannah Brady. When a Japanese women, Fumiko, decided to teach children about the holocaust she contacted many museums until one finally sent her some artefacts, this included Hana’s suitcase. Everyone who visited Fumiko’s museum was very interested in finding out more about Hana and make her really come to life. Fumiko was very determined to find out more and so she kept on contacting museums and people until she finally got hold of a survivor of the holocaust, George Brady – Hana’s brother.

I was very impressed by Fumiko’s determination and found her to be doing an exemplary job. I think this added to the hope mood of the story.

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Giver by Lois Lowry

" The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” – The Giver

Jonas was born into a perfect society. Every little detail was organised and planned, everything was methodical and conventional. No one ever experienced thirst, hunger or pain – no one even knew these things could exist. By the time children reach 12 they are told what they will work as; even though they didn’t have the freedom to choose what area they would work, their job was a perfect reflection of their personalities. Jonas was given the most honourable job as the “Receiver”. He will be in charge of all the memories, therefore no one else has to experience pain but there is one person to remember and not repeat mistakes in history. However, when Jonas starts receiving memories he opens his eyes to a whole other world. No one feels pain but nor do they feel love, everything is the same for everyone but there is no colour – the world is grey - there is no sunshine or soft snow. Jonas realises holding memories may be painful but they hold so much warmth and happiness that everyone should have the opportunity to experience them and most importantly have a choice in life.

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a science fiction book reflecting on the perfect world and the importance of memories, experiences and free choice. Lowry wrote the book after her father lost most of his long term memory. Memories can traumatise someone but they are so important to learn from and to grow from. Memories also contain just as much, if not even more, goodness in them.

Lois Lowry tries to create the perfect world, but the whole concept of perfectness can never be truly established within the limitations of human’s imaginations. It is only subjective to one’s perceptions. Therefore when the characters in the book went through their lives they didn’t question it.