Sunday, June 29, 2008

briar rose (ya challenge #5)

i think jane yolen is one of the truly great ya authors. this "sleeping beauty" story is truly a tale of victims of the holocaust - specifically victims not usually mentioned in general holocaust literature. rebecca's grandmother, gemma, is constantly telling her the story of sleeping beauty...but it is not the traditional story she and her sisters read in books or hear from their friends. as gemma is dying, she tells rebecca, "i am briar rose." this leads rebecca on a journey to poland to find out about her grandmother's past.
as rebecca tries to puzzle out what happened to her grandmother during world war II, yolen explores some of the less discussed aspects of the holocaust - the persecution of homosexuals and the existance of extermination camps such as chelmno.

i was intreguied by the idea that a fairy tale could play into something as horrifying as the holocaust...how a holocaust survivor could be sleeping beauty. but as i learned gemma's story...even though it is a fictional one, i believe that she could have been.

2 comments:

Bluestocking said...

You know prior to reading Grimm's Fairy Tales I would gave agreed with you that a fairy tale would seem inconguous with the Holocaust. But Grimm fairy tales are truly grim. So I can see it.

I'm on book blogs too!

http://web.mac.com/bluestocking_bb

Joy said...

I'm not a fan of Fairy Tales, but this one somehow grabs my interest. Thanks for sharing.