Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review--The Voice of Thunder by Mirka M.G. Breen

From Goodreads:

West Jerusalem, early June 1967, the eve of war. Ten-year-old Mira Levi and her best friend Gili Moser share an awful secret. They have discovered a new radio station called The Voice of Thunder from Cairo. Broadcasting in accented Hebrew, it threatens the demise of their country, their city, and their families. As the menace beats the drums of war, on June 5th the danger becomes all too real. Mira finds her own voice as she struggles to drown the distant terror of The Voice of Thunder. In these first two weeks of June, not only are Mira and Gili's lives changed forever, but history will never be the same.




My Take:
I don't read a lot of middle grade fiction, but I enjoyed this one.

Here's what I liked:
  • The descriptions.
  • I loved what Mira named her journal.
  • How the characters were able to look outward and consider the children on the other side of the war.
  • The emotions the characters went through.
  • I thought the idea of the old oak getting knocked down but then being replaced by the Western Wall was a beautiful image.
  • I think several things touched me specifically because I just finished studying the Old Testament. It made the situation and the emotions the Jewish people felt as they touched the temple wall for the first time more powerful for me. I cried with them.
What I struggled with:
  • At first it was hard to figure out the Point of view, but I finally got it.
  • I wanted more information or depth but I understand why it wasn't given. This is MG and the subject matter was handled appropriately for that genre.
  • There were times I felt the internal dialogue was too mature for a 5th grader's thoughts. Perhaps this is why I kept expecting the more I mentioned above. Other times the MC sounded like a 5th grader.
I give The Voice of Thunder a 3.5--mostly because it just isn't my normal genre.
UPDATE: since reading this, I've read a few more MG books so I had something to compare it to. The way Breen makes this personal and basic enough for everyone to understand the situation is really quite wonderful. I'm changing my mind and giving it a 4. 

Rating scale for book reviews.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

5 comments:

  1. I don't read the genre either so will probably skip this one.

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  2. I'm a little too old for MG LOL. But I don't mind it every once in a while.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I think I'm too old as well. With so little time to devote to reading, I really want to dig into something. This one is a quick read though.

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  3. I would probably read it for the subject matter. The ongoing situation there has always intrigued and confused me, even as I've gained more and more knowledge of the historical activities.

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    Replies
    1. The more I think about it, this was a good book. It boiled things down to a very basic and personal level. It's a good place to start.

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