Sarah's Stars

Andrea Cheng. Marika
Tundra  $6.99  ISBN 0-439-55696-1  153 pg.
Reviewed by Aleen, Age 12

“A lie.   That was what it was, a lie.”

Marika, a young Jewish girl, is confused.  A wall was built through her apartment and there is talk of war.  She wishes someone would tell her what is happening, but everyone says she is too young to understand. Her only comfort is Maxi, a rag puppet who leaks sawdust everywhere and is not appreciated by anyone but Marika.  Returning home from a vacation, Marika learns that the war has hit her homeland, Hungary.  Marika and her family must go into hiding, but everywhere they look, there are enemies.  Will Marika and Maxi ever be free of the horror that the war has brought?

This account of World War II is loosely based on author Andrea Cheng’s mother’s true story.  Marika shows a different aspect of the war compared to Yours, Anne: The Life of Anne Frank, because the main character was not always hidden from the enemies.  This novel was well written although it jumped around at times.  I appreciated reading Marika for it brought forward the reality of World War II.  I recommend it for mature readers from ten to thirteen.

I rate Andrea Cheng’s Marika, three stars.

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