Genre: Jewish / World War II / Prejudice / Family
Year Published: 2013
Year Read: 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: The Keeping Quilt #2
I have always loved what Patricia Polacco does in her books as most of her books had detailed her real life experiences with her friends and family and this book is definitely no exception! “The Blessing Cup” is a sequel book to Patricia Polacco’s well-loved picture book “The Keeping Quilt” and I must admit that this is as much emotional as the previous book!
In this book, Patricia Polacco tells the story about her Great-Grandmother Anna’s life in Russia before she and her family were forced out of Russia due to World War II. So, Anna and her family try to flee from Russia to find a new life in America while meeting up with a nice old doctor named Yevgeni Vladimorovich Pushkin who ends up helping the family through their journey.
Will Anna’s family make it to America?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! Patricia Polacco has done it again in writing another book that details her family’s rich history. I always enjoyed reading about Patricia Polacco’s family history in her books as they are often emotional yet heartwarming to read about and the books about her Great-Grandmother Anna’s life in Russia during World War II was definitely worth reading! Every time I read about Anna’s life in Russia during World War II, I always feel a twinge of pain and sadness for Anna and her family as they were forced out of their home due to them being Jews and I always felt so much anger at the injustice that the Jewish population had to face during World War II. What I really loved about this book was the importance of the blessing cup, which was a part of a tea set that Anna’s mother had kept in the family for many years and how it kept the family content despite the persecution that the family faced during World War II. I have always loved reading books where a family heirloom carries so much importance for that family due to that heirloom surviving through a family member’s tumultuous times and it being passed down from one generation to another. It really spoke out to me because our family has an heirloom in the form of a necklace that has been passed down in our family for many generations and it shows how important my family history really is as I recalled the stories that come from that necklace. Patricia Polacco has also done a beautiful job with the artwork for this book as the characters look truly realistic and I always cringed during the scenes where Anna’s village is burned to the ground due to her family and their neighbors being forced out of Russia because they were Jewish, as the imagery was truly intense to look at. I also loved the way that Patricia Polacco made most of the illustrations be colored in black and white with only the tea set and the blessing cup being shown in colors as it shows the importance that the blessing cup and the tea set has on the family and also its importance to the story itself.
Parents should know that this book deals with the heavy subject matter of the persecution of the Jews during World War II and that might upset some children who are not familiar with the history of World War II. This book would be a great way to teach children about the horrors of World War II and about respecting their family history in the process.
Overall, “The Blessing Cup” is easily one of Patricia Polacco’s most well written picture books about her family history and it is one of the best books used to teach children about the horrors of World War II! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the subject matter about World War II might disturb some smaller children.
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog