Saturday, September 29, 2012

Last Song by Eva Wiseman
225 pgs.
Target audience: Young adult
Rating: Wizard

It is the late 1400’s in Toledo, Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, is intent on ridding the city of all but devout Christians, his main target are those practicing the Jewish faith. Isobel, whose father is a respected physician in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isobella, thinks her family immune to the persecution afflicting the city. When she becomes betrothed to an arrogant and abusive man, she fears for her future. She befriends Yonah, the son of a Jewish silversmith, and learns the terrifying truth behind the Torquemada’s agenda. When her parents reveal to her their secret Jewish roots, the family becomes a target and her father is arrested and tortured. Desperate to save her father and family, Isobel seeks help from  Yonah and the underground Jewish community. This story is well told with a strong, believable heroine. The plot is gripping and builds toward the end as Isobel learns whom to trust and about her heritage. The main theme of solidarity against adversity is expressed primarily through Isobel and Yonah’s growing friendship. It is a refreshing take on Jewish persecution setting it during the Spanish Inquisition rather than the more familiar Hitler’s Third Reich landscape. (This book provided for review by Children's lit  -

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