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Presented by State Library Victoria

The Earth is Singing | Book Review

The Earth is Singing

by Vanessa Curtis

Rating: 9/10

Genre: Young adult, Historical fiction, War

Blurb: My Name is Hanna Michelson. I am fifteen. I am Latvian.

I live with my mother and grandmother. My father is missing – taken by the Russians.

I have a boyfriend. When he holds my hand, everything feels perfect.

I’m training to be a dancer. But none of that matters now.

Because the N**** have arrived, and I am a Jew. And as far as they are concerned, that is all that matters.

This is my story.

Thoughts: This is the story of three women from one Jewish family at the time when the N***’s invade their town. This is a remarkable well-told story that both astonishes and is heartbreaking while being beautifully written. It shows the effect of World War 2 and the Holocaust on 3 different generations and it connects the three generations through music. I really enjoyed reading this novel as it brought out many themes such as love, betrayal, family and friendship. Life is like a chain of dominoes, one thing is a cause of another and it’s all linked together. For me, the book also allowed me to realise human intentions and human struggle. People can intend to harm you, but they are also struggling with themselves which makes them want to hurt you.

The writing is visceral and beautiful all in one breath. It brings out each individual character and each character has their own song in the story, and as readers, we share the experience with them, right up to the very end, when the earth is genuinely singing. If you enjoy reading books about the effects of war and young adult fiction that explore unique characters and their adventures, “The Earth is Singing” is definitely for you! (It also includes sheet music at the back, for the song mentioned in the story!)

‘Up here with all the women it becomes unimportant who knows who or lived where or wore what in our previous lives. Up here we all band together to survive’

1 comment


The word N**** is actually the German group that Hitler lead in World War 2. Sorry, it was blocked because it was considered inappropriate to be published.

17th Jun, 18