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The World That We Knew

By Alice Hoffman

More news for Fiction

Book review written by Liz Gormack, Year 12 Dean, English and Media Studies Teacher

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman is an historical fiction novel set in Germany and France during World War 2. There are a couple of narratives, but it’s predominately 12 year old Jewish girl Lea we follow. In desperation to keep her safe, her mother asks Ettie, the rabbi’s daughter to make a golem, a mystical creature made out of clay, to be Lea’s bodyguard – to keep her safe from the death trains heading to Auschwitz.

An aspect of the book I found fascinating was reading about the families, schools, teachers and nuns who kept Jewish children in their protection under extremely trying circumstances, and a relentless Nazi regime. This book is beautifully written and while at times the content is a little harrowing, it’s one of those books you don’t want to put down… or, don’t want to pick up as you don’t want to finish it! This is a story for all - there are strong male and female characters to pull everyone in.

In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being that is created entirely from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud).

Hoffman, A. (2019). The World That We Knew.

Book review written by Liz Gormack, Year 12 Dean, English and Media Studies Teacher

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