Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: The Generosity of Strangers by Thomas E. Antonaccio

Description from Amazon: When War Came to Fornelli is written in first person, free verse, and consists of a series of vignettes chronicling the real life experiences of a young girl and her family in war-torn Italy in the 1940s. The story is set in the town of Fornelli–a tiny hilltop community in Italy’s mountainous heart.
For Lucia and her family, life in Fornelli is anything but boring. Life is difficult, yet tranquil. But soon the war comes, and life in Fornelli is tranquil no more.


In many ways this is a simple book. It is about Lucia, a small girl in a village in Italy, her Mamma and Tata, her brothers and sisters, and the animals around the farm. 

However, in many ways it is a darker book than many children's books, because it also looks at World War II through the eyes of a child. Her father leaves and there is loss and sadness. There is also family and beauty. 

As is appropriate in a child's book, the language is relatively simple and although it shows the sadness that does happen in life, it is child friendly. It is written in verse in short chapters which is unusual, but works quite well. The Generosity of Strangers is I think a good way to introduce children to the past and to the fact that there can be loss as well as happiness and that having the first does not mean never again having the second.

This is a book that I will be giving to one of the children in my own family.

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