Disclaimer: I received the ebook from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Book of Uriel: A Novel of WWII
Author: Elyse Hoffman
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Jewish MC and characters, Mute MC
Recommended For…: historical fiction, Jewish literature
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Recommended Age: 15+ (Holocaust, genocide, death, violence, gore, near-death)
Explanation of CWs: The book is set during the Holocaust/WW2 era and the main character witnesses his whole village being massacred. Death is present in the book, as is violence and the horrors of WW2, and the main character nearly dies in a terrible manner.
Publisher: Project 613 Publishing
Synopsis: In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…
Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.
In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.
With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.
The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.
Review: I absolutely loved this book. I really loved the story and I loved seeing the Jewish folklore and Judaism woven into this story. I don’t believe I’ve read a book with a Jewish main character before (correct me if I’m wrong) and I LOVED it. I loved the rep and I loved that the main character was also mute and that the end of the book shows that this character accepts himself as perfect the way he is. I also loved the world building and the pacing. The plot was also fantastic.
My main issue with the book is that this book is wrote in a middle grade character, but it has a lot of mature content. If your child is fine with that and can come to you with questions about this time period, then that’s absolutely fine, but the content of the book is definitely for a young adult audience.
Verdict: It’s great!