Monday, December 01, 2008

Briar Rose (book review)

Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen, is really two stories entwined together: the story of young journalist Becca and the story of her grandmother Gemma, who survived the famous concentration camp Chelmno, or Kulmhof. Throughout Becca's childhood, Gemma told her the story of Sleeping Beauty, or Briar Rose, insisting every time that she was the real Briar Rose. After Gemma's death, Becca discovers a mysterious box containing some of her grandmother's possessions from long ago. She decides to set out on a journey to discover uncover the mysteries of Gemma's box. Along the way, she travels from Fort Oswego in New York, a refugee camp for Jews, to Chelmno itself, to find out the real story behind the events in Gemma's past.

This was the first book I've read by Jane Yolen, and I thought it was superb. I loved how she entwined real places in history together with a common fairy tale that we all know and love. I will definitely be looking for more of her books.

This book is for the A-Z challenge.


Sanjana said...

I love your blog! I've added it to my list of blogs I follow. Congratz on your Nano progress! I only got 10k. :)

Nymeth said...

This is one of my favourite books, and I'm so glad you loved it too, Annie. I hope you enjoy the rest of her work. I've only read a handful of her books myself, but she's so prolific! She has dozens and dozens of books published. More for us to discover :)

Debi said...


I hope I can find more of her books! Do you have any that you especially recommend?


Jean said...

The Jane Yolen book I remember is The Devil's Arithmetic. Check out Jane Yolen's website (; you can see all her works listed there.

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