Annotation: A Jewish orphan without a name finds himself unsure of his identity as he grows up during World War II. Making and losing different make shift families he lives on creating his own identity as a survivor.
With names varying from Stop Thief, Misha, Jack, and Poppynoodle this first person fiction narrative follows a kid growing up without a true identity during World War II. Nameless he is given the name Misha by Uri, a make shift big brother who finds him stealing and makes him a part of a group of orphaned thieves trying to survive during the war. Not knowing he was Jewish, Misha takes on the identity of what he is told from gypsy, Jew, to nobody. Struggling to find meaning to his identity and his beliefs this story of triumph in the face of all adversity and loss of family and friends is relatable to all. Jerry Spinelli successfully introduces the historical and personal elements of the Holocaust through Misha, a kid turned adult on a quest to not let others define him but define himself.
Golden Kite Award, 2003ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2004
Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List, 2004
Image credit: http://jerryspinelli.com