“I've always enjoyed this book, it's beautifully written and holds you hostage, you NEED to know the ending, you become like Becca in the book. ”Zombie Katie wrote this review Saturday, April 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Becca has heard her Gemma (grandmother) tell the story of Sleeping Beauty, also known as Briar Rose, since she was a small child. Now Gemma is near death in a nursing home and just before she dies she whispers to Becca "I am Briar Rose". Becca promises Gemma that she will find the truth of the fairy tale. After the funeral Becca finds a box of Gemma's that has newspaper clippings, documents and photos from the 1940's. Becca follows the trail of these items to Poland and the horror stories of a place called Chelmno where thousands of Jewish people were killed during the war.
All of the places Becca during this book are real and the stories are very difficult to read because you know they are based on historical fact. It was an interesting interweaving of a fairy tale and real life tragedy.”
“Required Reading in year 10 High School.
A good reminder, lest we forget.
“Briar Rose by Jan Yolen is the story told by an elderly survivor of the Holocaust who shares her story cryptically with her grand children. Without scaring them, she eludes to a mysterious past using the story of Sleeping Beauty with herself portraying Briar Rose. Upon her death, Becca the youngest granddaughter and a journalist, gathers a few artifacts that might unlock her grandmother’s secrets and embarks on a journey into the past. She not only finds the castle but locates the prince who rescued her grandmother. In the process of discovery, Becca connects with a legacy that includes the triumph of good over incredible evil.
Social Studies/History: A study in perspective might be done using novels told through eyes of survivors of WW2 from different walks of life, ages, or cultures.
Language Arts: Students might examine the structure of fairy tales as a genre and how it has been used throughout history to retell actual events. Every culture has a version of Cinderella or Snow White. An in depth study of how fairy tales cross cultures and represent the triumph of good over evil could culminate in the writing of an original fairy tale depicting a contemporary struggle faced in the world today.
Jan Yolen’s masterful writing and sophisticated author’s craft makes this novel best suited for high school students grades 9 through 12.
“From the Fairly Tale series, this is a different and haunting version of Sleeping Beauty. For Young Adults.”kate k wrote this review Tuesday, January 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A story that mixes a classic fairy tale with a woman's survival of the Holocaust.”Sienna wrote this review Friday, January 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a superb book. It was written as part of the "Modern Fairy Tales" series where modern authors re-tell a fairy tale in whatever way suits them (Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede is another example), and what Jane Yolen does to tell a story of the Holocaust is just astounding.
It's dark and difficult, especially as the mystery of the modern-day Briar Rose comes out, but it is truly worth reading. I should re-read it . . . ”
“A good(but sad) retelling of Sleeping Beauty.”Nina wrote this review Monday, January 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have always been a fan of Jane Yolen, (since the sister light, sister dark days), but she proves with this book that she know how to write. The way that this book is crafted is unbelievable. To think about enterwining a fairy tale (something light and happy) with the Holocaust (something dark and evil) is unthinkable, but Jane Yolen is such a superb author that she makes it work. Not only does she make it work, but she keeps you on your toes. Beautiful, tragic, VERY well written story.”Veronica J wrote this review Friday, December 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No