Talia is a 7th grader who lives in the Los Angeles area with her parents and younger sister Mica. Her older sister Adrienne now lives in New York City. Talia enjoys basketball, food, travel, music, learning, and television. She believes Puppet was an intriguing novel and you should read it as well. Read on for more of what our guest reviewer has to say below:
Puppet, written by Eva Wiseman, is a riveting novel about the real last blood libel case, in 1882. Before reading this book, my knowledge of the term “blood libel” was nonexistent, but now I know more than I might want to about it. For many centuries, Christians have accused Jews of killing Christian children to use their blood as a ritual for making a holiday bread (called matzo). This has never been true but Jews have suffered serious consequences from these accusations, especially in places and times where the Christians have been uneducated, poor and needed a scapegoat.
In a rural town called Tisza-Eszlar in Hungary, Jews were held accountable for the disappearance and death of a young servant, Esther Solymosi. In court, a Jewish boy named Morris Scharf was brainwashed by the local police to testify against his own people of the village: the Jews. The story’s narrator is Julie Vamosi, a peasant girl who is juggling the difficulties of life while also trying to find the real murderer of her close friend Esther. Unlike all the other peasants of Tisza-Eszlar, Julie doesn’t follow the crowd in accusing the Jews. While also dealing with her mother’s illness, worry about her baby sister and facing an abusive alcoholic father, Julie is lost in a frenzy of lies, evil and mystery.
Due to the graphic nature of the blood libel story, Puppet is well suited for teenagers ages 12+. Deep consideration should be taken about deciding whether you should read this book or not, because it does include blood, crude words, and a sophisticated plot. It is an easy read, as long as the reader is prepared for the painful subject.
Puppet is fascinating and unstoppable, a mixture of mystery, drama, action, and friendship. Pick it up and surely it will never be set down, due to the enthralling story. Look beyond the shockingly graphic journey of Julie and the Jews of Tisza-Eszlar and read the spectacle on paper, Puppet.