Life for all Polish people was harsh under the Nazi rule during World War II, much more so for the sizable Jewish population. In Warsaw accumulated restrictions forced Mika's family and all Jews out of their own homes and into a cramped ghetto, leaving behind most of their belongings.
Mika inherited two things from his grandfather, a many pocketed coat and a troupe of puppets. With these, though he was little more than a child himself, he enacted simple puppet plays to give moments of joy to the children of the ghetto. At one of these performances he was abducted and made to perform for soldiers and officers. This became a regular appointment, terrifying for Mika but also mildly profitable as he got an extra bread ration and was able to smuggle very young children out of the ghetto under the voluminous coat.
It is only under extreme hardship that kindness requires massive bravery, as shown here.
Title: The puppet boy of Warsaw
Author: Weaver, Eva
Reviewed by Christine, Takapuna Library
Christine O has worked in North Shore libraries for over 20 years. She likes her fiction to be credible and her nonfiction to be accessible.