Friday, September 19, 2014

100 Book Project Book #77: The Boxer

The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Hafft by Reinhard Kleist

In case you don't remember, let me remind you that last Spring I had my students assign me books during the first weeks of class and cut them off at 100ish.  Then at the beginning of this semester I went crazy (no. other. reason.) and asked my new students to assign me books.

Just like last time, I brought a big box.

 Just like last time, I left with only a tote bag full, wondering why anyone wouldn't jump at the opportunity of forcing someone else to read a book. 

Oh well. I let it go and readjusted "100" to mean "closer to 200 but whatever 100 sounds catchy" and kept reading.

The student who assigned me this book proudly handed it to me and announced that his family KNEW this man, and his mother took care of this man and his wife. 

 I was smitten.

Although this book has won several awards, I have never heard of or seen this book and I'm thankful the universe sent it to me because I'm quite sure I would never have found it on my own.

And honestly, even if I saw it, I'm not sure I would have picked it up because it is a.. umm... Hmmm.

What's the word for a book with pictures, that has like 4 to 10 squares on a page and shows expressions instead of describing them? I'm going with "graphic novel."  

Yes. Maybe. Not. OK, not novel.  I need a better name but I'm letting that go now.

This book is a story within a story, a story of a father telling his son the story of surviving the Holocaust, finding then losing then finding then losing love. 

I didn't think I would like this book, much less love it, but the pictures captured this man's tortured soul, full of survivor guilt, grief and shock.

This book is too painful, too perfect, too real for me to spoil by giving you an overview.  Read it.  I read it, my son read it, and I can't imagine anyone who has a soul putting this book down before finishing it.

You can find this book on Amazon -- I checked, because I'm buying a copy for my son.