Somewhere There Is Still a Sun by Michael Gruenbaum: A Book Review

I’ve read many, many books about the Holocaust, but every time, it seems that I learn something new.

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While perusing the kids’ section of the library with my kids, I saw Somewhere There Is Still a Sun by Michael Gruenbaum.  Michael “Misha” was a young boy when the Germans invade his hometown of Prague in March, 1939.  Soon, Misha and his family are relegated to a ghetto.  Life continues to be more and more difficult as they are making less money, food becomes scarcer, and Misha is no longer allowed to go to school.

When the SS show up at the family’s door one day and ask Misha’s father to come with them, he does, without every kissing his family members good bye.  The family never sees him alive again.  Later, his body is returned to them for burial.

Misha’s story is one of delay–delays that save his and his mother and sister’s lives.  His family, thanks to his father’s influence, even after he dies, is one of the last to leave the Prague ghetto, in late 1942.  Misha’s excited to leave because he thinks conditions can’t be any worse than they are in Prague.

The family arrives in Terazin, a concentration camp only an hour from Prague.  While this IS a concentration camp, it serves as a holding tank, so to speak, before the Jewish people are transported to Auschwitz.  Many people, like Misha, remain their for years. I had heard of Terazin before, but I did not know it was for this purpose.  After I finished this book, I read an interesting article about Terazin and it’s purpose in the cog of concentration camps.

Once there, Misha is separated from his mother and lives with boys his age and a young man, Franta, who manages the 80 boys in his care.  While in Terazin, Misha is able to study and play sports.  The SS, especially in the beginning, are very rarely spotted at the camp.

However, as the years go on, there are more and more deportations to “the East.”  Those who remain in Terazin suspect that conditions in the East are much worse than they are in Terazin, but they have no idea until near the end of the war when a train arrives filled with concentration camp victims who are bald and walking skeletons.

Ultimately, Misha’s mother’s skill and quick thinking saves the family’s lives so Misha, in his 80s, can finally tell this story.

Overall, I liked the story, but I felt that the middle got bogged down with too many details about the sports and tournaments Misha competed in at the camp.  I feel like the book could have been about 50 to 100 pages shorter without so much of the sports information in the story.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.


Goals for 2018: Week 21 of 52

The last two weeks, my husband was home for two days.  The rest of the time he was traveling for work.  He travels only a few times a year, usually for short trips, but this time there were three trips back to back.

Anyone who has kids with autism knows that they often don’t do well with change, and that is no different for my kids.  I’m so glad that my mom was here to help, but it was still an exhausting two weeks.  Very little got done, and now that my husband is back, I’m looking forward to getting back to a more normal schedule.

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Make Time to Relax

Read a book a week.   I finished  Somewhere There Is Still a Sun and Josiah’s Fire.

Now I’m reading The 5 Love Languages and I’ve just started The Hidden Side.

Write. Nothing this week.

Care for Myself

Exercise.  Nothing this week, but my husband and I have come up with a tentative solution.  (It’s been hard for me to leave the house early in the morning to walk because he likes to go out early in the morning to exercise.)  I’ll go out a few days a week after he comes home early from exercise, and the other days I’ll work out in my room while the kids are sleeping.

Manage my sugar cravings. I haven’t been to Weight Watchers in three weeks, so this week, I’ll just be happy if I stay even from the 3 pounds I lost a few weeks ago.

Create a Manageable Schedule for Myself

Still working on this.

Clean Up for 10 Minutes After Kids Are in Bed

I’m just starting this goal this week.

Re-establish My Prayer Routine – ACCOMPLISHED!

I have been doing great with this.  I’m marking it as accomplished because I’ve successfully done it the past few weeks, and it’s now become habit for me.

How are you doing on your goals?  I’d love it if you’d share in the comments!

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn: A Book Review

When a book has a wait list of over 100 people at the public library, I know it should be good. This post contains affiliate links. I had to wait five months to read The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn, and it was well worth the wait! The … [Continue reading]

Goals for 2018: Week 18 of 52

I'm finally making some progress on my goals!  Even if it takes me all year to reach all of these goals, at least I will have changed my life in a positive way, and that's worth it for me. Since I'm crossing one of my goals off the list this week … [Continue reading]

Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom by Janet & Geoff Benge

Cuddle Bug and I have been reading a lot about Civil War times.  She's picked clean all the kids' books about the Underground Railroad from the library, and we've read about the time frame of the Civil War.  Even she was a bit apprehensive when we … [Continue reading]

Homeschool Crew Review: Kids Email Safe Email for Kids

Bookworm (almost 14) has had his own e-mail account since he was 12 when we got to review Kids Email Safe Email for Kids.  In fact, we love Kids Email so much that when our free subscription ran out, we bought another year.  I plan to use this for my … [Continue reading]

Weekend Bulk Cooking, May 7, 2018

This weekend, I actually did bulk cooking for foods that we will eat during the week with just a tiny touch of freezer cooking.  Maybe that means I'm improving.  But still, my freezer stash is getting low, and I don't like that.  I made need to make … [Continue reading]

Goals for 2018: Week 17 of 52

Before I leap into my goals, I'm planning my summer blog content, and I'd love to know if you find the weekly grocery reports valuable or not?  Please let me know in the comments as well as what other kind of content you'd like to see.  I don't want … [Continue reading]

Homeschool Crew Review – Jacob Deshazer: Forgive Your Enemies

What can I say?  We love YWAM Publishing's books.  This year, Cuddle Bug, who just turned 8 and is in 2nd grade, has learned all of her American history through listening as I read aloud to her all of the books in the Heroes of History series.  We … [Continue reading]

Alpha Burritos: A Moms Meet Review and Giveaway

Even though my husband is the thinnest one in the family, he wants to get his cholesterol down.  One way he is doing this is by eating more meatless meals and eating more meals with fish.  He's also rising early in the morning to get a good exercise … [Continue reading]