The latest addition to a long line of sad books about World War II children's accounts which began with "The Diary of Anne Frank", "The Book Thief" and now "The Book of Aron" with one big difference. Aron lives in the Polish Ghetto and his is the only voice we hear. The writing style is choppy, that of a young boy pushed into leaving childhood and becoming a man under extreme conditions. Aron shows emotion and cares for his mom but it is quickly tapped down and the bluster of the young thug he is becoming comes out. There are girls that he also cares about but is powerless to protect. Getting involved brings heartache and that too is tapped down, as is the violence that is all around him. It is not what is said in Aron's voice that gets you, it is what is unsaid. Reading between the lines is when you fully realize the horror and desperation that they must have gone through and had to submerge to survive.
There is a fear of lasting relationships that may get taken away and there are few that he can trust with the exception of the doctor and those at the orphanage and even that may not be enough to save him. Readers who are looking for the same gripping story of a young life forced to grow up early in unbelievable circumstances will enjoy this book by Jim Shepard.
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