An American Library Association "100 Best Books for Teens"
An American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults"
Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma's stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma's astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope.
Becca has always loved to hear her grandmother Gemma, a Jewish woman who left Europe some time after the Holocaust, tell the story of Sleeping Beauty: of the princess Briar Rose, and of the prince who kisses her awake. She is painfully aware, though, that she knows little of Gemma beyond her stories, so when Gemma insists with her dying breath that she find the castle of Briar Rose, she agrees. Becca suspects that the castle lurks somewhere in Gemma's past, for she often mentioned that she had been Briar Rose.
I first read this book three years ago, and I enjoyed it well enough. Recently, though, I realized that I could remember a great deal about it considering I had only read it once, and decided to read it again- perhaps I had liked it even more than I thought. I am very, very glad I decided to read it again for, if I enjoyed it the first time, I absolutely loved it the second time- Briar Rose definitely leans more toward the adult side of young adult, which is not to say it's inappropriate but to say that I find it easier to connect to now that I am older.
Everyone should read this book because the world would be a better place for it, and besides, it's a good story
Here is the tale of Briar Rose, a girl who was wakened from her sleep by a handsome prince. The catch? This Briar Rose takes place during the Holocaust, and she is awakened because she survives the Nazi gas chambers.
Rebecca Berlin has always adored her grandmothers dark and slightly disturbing versions of the Sleeping Beauty story. But when her grandmother dies, Rebecca realizes those stories may be some of the only clues she has to her Grandmothers mysterious past. In order to discover the truth, Rebecca travels to Poland, where she finds a fantasy world that is all too real.
I thought this book was good, but I dont really have any strong feelings for it. It was very interesting to see Yolen connect the Sleeping Beauty fairytale to the Holocaust, and she did a good job of convincing her readers. However, it just didnt wow me. Ive had friends who loved this book, so you might as well give it a try.
As a caution to younger readers, the book does have a lot of violence (it is the Holocaust after all) and some sex talk, though nothing too incredibly graphic.