[REVIEW] The Earth is Singing

Series: N/A
 Vanessa Curtis
 young adult, historical fiction
 January 27, 2015
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Purchase: Amazon

My name is Hanna Michelson.
I am fifteen. 
I am Latvian. 
I live with my mother and grandmother. My father is missing - taken by the Russians. 
I have a boyfriend. When he holds my hand, everything feels perfect. 
I'm training to be a dancer. 
But none of that matters now. 
Because the Nazis have arrived, and I am a Jew. And as far as they are concerned, that is all that matters. 
This is my story.

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A heartbreaking story about the difficulties the Jews encountered during World War II. This book caught my attention because it's a historical fiction set in WWII told in the perspective of a Jew. I was curious.

If there's anything this book did to me that any other books failed to do is that it made me knowledgeable of horrifying things the Jews went through - of the fear they faced very single day, the extreme discrimination they went through, how they try to be strong despite everything, and how strong their faith were.

I like the comforting ritual of this blessing. Although I am not as religious as Omama, I know that God is up there looking after us all and keeping us safe. -p45

If I compare this to Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, this certainly just blends in the background. It's not as heartbreaking. The Earth is Singing did not made me cry although it did made my heartache. While Between Shades of Gray made you feel for every single character despite how short their appearance in the book was, The Earth is Singing makes you love the heroine and how she grows as a person with faith and fight.

Omama told me to wear the star with pride because it is a symbol of our faith, but I don't feel proud.I just feel embarrassed. -p86

I LOVE Hannah's development. She's half-Jew and half-Latvian. I always see where she's coming from and why she does what she does. I understand her (not in a way that I had the same experiences but more of understanding her based on what she says as she narrates the story). It's really easy to see things from her perspective and understand her decisions. She had her mistakes but she's young and she greatly learns from them. She grows from hating her Jewish blood to fighting to stay alive in order to tell their story - the story of the Jews.

(writing about this make my eyes all watery. ugh. remembering everything is painful. ugh)

I lean against the side of the carriage and am surprised to realize that I don't mind being a Jew any longer. I have learned something on my journey. I have learned that the only people worth knowing are the ones who accept me for who I am and not what I am. -p319

I think that this is a story everyone should read. While it's slow-paced, it really compliments the story because it allows you to absorb the details of the setting and really feel/imagine the things that were going on. Yes, it made me imagine the things that were happening and how painful and difficult they might have been. This book gives you that.

OVERALL, The Earth is Singing is a beautifully written, heartbreaking historical fiction that tells the story of the Jews. It's a story about survival. It's a story about having hope and staying hopeful. It has a well written setting and well developed main character. I highly recommend this to everyone especially those who likes reading historical fiction particularly heartbreaking ones like those of Ruta Sepetys.

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What I Like: (1) the setting -how it was written, how it was well researched, how detailed it was, (2) Hanna - her development, (3) Hanna's family - how strong they were. I like mother's determination and strength. I like Omama's faith and pride, (4) the ending - open-ended but it made me smile, it was beautiful, it was hope

What I Didn’t Like: (1) I was not completely attached to the characters (why, I'm not completely sure. Must be the writing), (2) it's not an attention grabbing book - I honestly did not read it full blown. I had to bring it down a few times. I wasn't compelled to read it non-stop, (3) Uldis - because you just have to hate such characters

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