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The Wrong BoyA young Jewish pianist at Auschwitz desperate to save her family is chosen to play at the camp commandant's house How could she know she would fall in love with the wrong boyLook after each otherand get home safe And when you do tell everyone what you saw and what they did to usThese are Hanna's father's parting words to her and her sister when their family. Hanna Mendel has a dream to follow in the footsteps of her musical muse Clara Schumann the celebrated German pianist Hanna is only fifteen and already her musical talents have seen her debut at the Debrecen Town Hall and play at the Goldmark Hall By eighteen Hanna hopes to shadow Clara and be playing to sell out crowds in Vienna then Hitler and the war came to Hungary and everything changedHanna and her family have been living in a ghetto; sectioned off with other Juden Jews and slowly their world began to alter Her non Jewish friends stopped talking to her at school Her father a talented watch maker had his business close down The Mendel family have tried to cope in these trying times of war; Hanna her father mother and older sister Erika all living day to day within the confines of the ghetto These are difficult times to be Jew but so long as the family has each other they should be fineOne night the ghetto is evacuated Everyone is told to pack a bag and enough food to last three days The Jews are being taken to a work camp Hanna and her family leave their apartment their valuables and small mementos behind save for a C sharp black key from Hanna’s beloved piano They will be there when they come back when this war ends But no one is prepared for the journey before themAll the Jews are herded into cattle trains; made to stand for days on end while the train clambers along the countryside taking them to Poland and Auschwitz BirkenauAt Auschwitz Hanna Erika and their mother are separated from their father – with a flick of his cane Josef Mengele sends healthy workers to the right while the children elderly and infirm are sent to the left and never seen again The women are stripped shaved and tattooed Hanna is now A10573 and put to work in the uarry like everyone else But it uickly becomes apparent that the Auschwitz slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’ work sets you free is a cruel taunt Everyone works for mouldy bread and muddied water Block leaders whip and beat the women if they so much as look at them the wrong way Auschwitz is no work camp Hanna decides rather it is a place of deathAnd then a miracle; Auschwitz commandant Captain Jager needs a pianist He will be holding an audition for one girl to be his entertainment when he wines and dines guests This is a mixed blessing – the lucky pianist will be alone in Jager’s home and able to steal scraps of food and have a respite from the back breaking uarry work But Jager’s last pianist lost a finger when she hit the wrong key and to be caught stealing means a bullet to the headHanna is successful and wins the audition – and it is in Jager’s house playing for his SS officer friends that Hanna first sees Karl Jager’s son What starts as contempt for the beautiful boy turns into something something dangerous and forbidden‘The Wrong Boy’ is the new young adult novel from Australian author Suzy Zail I first heard about Suzy Zail’s novel from Adele of Persnickety Snark fame Then I was told that Ms Zail had attended the same RMIT Writing Editing course as me and that a couple of my friends were mentioned in her ‘Acknowledgements’ So long before I actually read the book I was excited for all the whispers of brilliance and because the blurb was thoroughly intriguing And now that I have devoured the novel I must say that all the advance praise is utterly deserved ‘The Wrong Boy’ is a beautifully crushing read and I hope it gets nominated for a few young adult literary awards in 2012From 1933 to 1945 six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust; though this is a rough estimate since it’s impossible to precisely know the extent of the slaughter Of the six million it is again roughly estimated that 450000 Hungarian Jews perished And in Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp alone over one million Jews were murdered Suzy Zail’s story is somewhat inspired by her father who she explains in her author’s note was sent to Auschwitz when he was just thirteen years old She has previously written a book about how her father survived the Holocaust titled ‘The Tattooed Flower’ but ‘The Wrong Boy’ is a work of fiction based around a tragic and dark moment in human history‘The Wrong Boy’ is a tough read and so it should be Many times I had to put the book down unable to read through my tears But by the last page I was ready to sell this novel on street corners – I’m already imploring friends to borrow my copy and I intend to tell my aunt to recommend the book to her students she is of Austrian descent and a German language teacher at a Melbourne high school This novel left me raw but I’m bloody glad I read itThrough Hanna’s eyes Suzy Zail explores all aspects of the Holocaust We learn of the slow unfolding before the war when Jews were ghettoized and made to live with ‘their own kind’ Hanna speaks about the non Jewish friends who abandoned her the neighbours who turned a blind eye At Auschwitz Zail delves into the little discussed politics within the concentration camp and barracks hierarchy Block leaders were assigned to keep people in check – Jewish women who were also prisoners but ranked above the rest and often with a coloured patch on their uniforms identifying them as murderers When Hanna is assigned as Captain Jager’s pianist she and her family experience derision from their barrack mates who believe Hanna is like those women in the camp who spread their legs for the soldiersThroughout the novel Hanna is seemingly in two worlds – within the camp she witnesses the horrors and injustices – women picked off one by one when they don’t pass the morning fitness test and the way that they eventually turn on one another for a scrap of bread or a dead woman’s shoes And then she ventures into Captain Jager’s luxurious home where she is made to play Mozart and Wagner making herself sick as she entertains his uniformed friends; I closed my eyes and tried to slip i

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Is The Wrong PDF or separated at the gates of the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp Her father's wordsand a black C sharp piano key hidden away in the folds of her dressare all that she has left to remind her of life before Before Hanna was going to be a famous concert pianist She was going to wear her yellow dress to a dance And she was going to dance. When I read a book about the Holocaust—or other terrible parts of history—my favorite part is almost always the middle the messy heartbreaking point when the plot is at its peak At the heart of the story the protagonist sees the most horrifying yet captivating details and is far from the tranuility of “before” and the relief of “after” I do enjoy watching the exposition shatter as characters are captured and seeing them weave their lives back together in the conclusion but I always struggle to turn away from the horrors of the story’s center However this was not the case with Playing for the Commandant—while I appreciated its every chapter my favorite parts spanned the first and last 50 pagesI fell in love with this story’s exposition for its masterful portrayal of the protagonist’s ignorance At the start of the story when Hanna and her family are forced to leave their home in their sealed ghetto she does not guess at the severity of the situation Even upon arriving at Auschwitz Birkenau Hanna still does not grasp the full scope of the evil surrounding her—for example when she sees people sent toward buildings seeping smoke she assumes they are being sent to work in factories This dark dramatic irony knowing that Hanna’s life is about to become far painful than she expects makes readers ache for her and makes the first few chapters a gripping openerHer innocence and hope carries her all the way until the end when it cracks in a conclusion that can only be called explosive I do not want to give too much away but I will say that the ending displays a calculated imperfection happy enough to be optimistic but sad enough to be realistic Suzy Zail chose a spot on ending for her story and I would not change a thing about itThe only segment in which I would make small alterations is the middle the section that has always been my favorite It does not have any major flaws but something small is missing something keeping me from becoming fully immersed in the story Perhaps it was the book’s length; at 245 pages it has little room for fleshing out dramatic details so the plot often skims over months in a matter of sentences Or perhaps it was the slightly too modern dialogue that springs up occasionally pulling readers out of the historical setting Whatever it was I never felt truly absorbed in the story as if I were there with the charactersHowever I cannot hold this flaw against Playing for the Commandant Despite my inability to fall into the story completely the plot still holds enough shocks and emotions to keep any reader invested I highly recommend this novel to any historical fiction fans and I hope that of Zail’s Australian writing soon makes its way to AmericaThis review originally appeared at wwwlitup reviewcom

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characters The Wrong Boy ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ó [PDF / Epub] ☆ The Wrong Boy Author Suzy Zail – Gwairsoft.co.uk A young Jewish pianist at Auschwitz desperate to save her family is chosen to play at the camp commandant's house How could she know she would fall in love with the wrong boyLook after each otheranWith a boy But then the Nazis came Now it is up to Hanna to do all she can to keep her mother and sister alive even if that means playing piano for the commandant and his guests Staying alive isn't supposed to include falling in love with the commandant's son But Karl Jager is beautiful and his aloofness belies a secret And war makes you do dangerous thing. Although I found this book enjoyable it did have many lose ends that at the end of the book were left untied You grew strong relations with the characters but at the end of the story I felt like the reader should be left informed about what was going to happen to the girls with both the lover and the parents presumed dead It would not have hurt to leave them some kind of fortune money family a future It made the book very gloomy especially with the author constantly hinting that all would soon be better Also the action got tiring there would be a cliffhanger after every chapter and would often not even be resolved or mentioned in the following chapters Finally I thought that although the main character was suppose to be 16 at times she sounded very young maybe even 12 years old She kept on referring to be so bright for her age but it seemed as if she was not as intelligent as it may seemAll in All I gave this book 3 stars as it was hard to put down and generally enjoyable although I found the ending annoying