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Green Books Campaign Review: I Have My Mother’s Eyes

November 10, 2009

Green books campaign

Today I’m participating in Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign.  100 bloggers are reviewing “green books” – books that are printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper.  These books have been provided by over 35 publishers.  My book was published by Ronsdale Press and it is printed on “Ancient Forest Friendly ‘Silva’ (FSC) – 100% post-consumer waste, totally chlorine-free and acid-free” paper.



Zosia Hoffenberg was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland.  Her father and his brothers owned a successful men’s clothing store so Zosia led a comfortable life, even though her mother was somewhat distant.  As a young child, Zosia and her siblings, along with their nanny, vacationed at a resort area and met the Bluman family.

Years later, Zosia and one of the Bluman boys, Natek, were re-acquainted and fell in love.  Natek’s family imported dried fruits and nuts and they sent him to the United States to study for a year.  In the US, Natek learned that the situation in Europe was much more grave than the Jews in Warsaw believed.  He urged Zosia to join him in the US where they would get married.

Arranged marriages were common in that time and place, so Zosia refused Natek at first, even though she was desperately in love.  Natek returned to Warsaw for Zosia just as the Nazis began bombing the city.  Natek left for Romania to try to make arrangements to get the Hoffenberg family into the US.  Things deteriorated in Warsaw and Zosia begged her father to allow her to join Natek in Romania.  Her father agreed that she could be gone for two weeks.

I Have My Mother’s Eyes by Barbara Ruth Bluman is the story of Zosia and Natek’s perilous escape from Europe at the beginning of World War II.  (Barbara is their daughter.)  There’s a little bit of Barbara’s own story sprinkled throughout.  Zosia and Natek have a fascinating journey – they managed to escape through grit, determination, luck and the help of people like Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Lithuania, who provided travel visas for over 6000 Jews, against direct orders he received.  I wasn’t as emotionally connected to Zosia and Natek as I would have liked – I think that’s because the book is told in the third person one generation removed.  I wanted to know how Zosia and Natek felt as well as how they managed to escape.  I still liked this book and think others interested in World War II will as well.

This is my 8th book for the World War II Challenge, which means I have finally completed a challenge.

Review copy provided by Ronsdale Press.   I am an Amazon Associate.
34 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2009 6:33 am

    Congrats on finishing the challenge! I am sorry that you were not fully attached to the characters. It must be more difficult than you think to write about family members.

  2. November 10, 2009 8:28 am

    I like the idea of using recycled paper for books. How does one know if a book is using recycled paper? Is there a label on the cover?

  3. November 10, 2009 9:04 am

    Congrats on two accounts: (1) for participating in this campaign (I hadn’t heard about it until yesterday) and (2) for completing your challenge!

    Despite it’s flaws, this sounds like a book worth checking out.

  4. November 10, 2009 9:25 am

    Congrats on finishing the WWII challenge. I wanted to get this book as well! Sounds like a good selection.

    I thought we were supposed to all publish at 1PM EST?!

    • November 10, 2009 9:25 am

      I also forgot to mention that this book rocks with its 100% post-consumer waste, totally chlorine-free and acid-free” paper.

  5. November 10, 2009 10:26 am

    This is a great initiative. Recycled papers can help so much in conserving our resources.

    Congrats on completing the challenge 🙂

  6. November 10, 2009 10:48 am

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge! My review will be posting a little bit later today.

  7. November 10, 2009 11:35 am

    It does sound like a story best told in first person or third person, real time.

    I like the idea of promoting green books!

    Straight From Hel

  8. November 10, 2009 11:39 am

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge. And don’t you love those books that fit into multiple challenge categories so you can kill a number of birds with one stone?!!!

  9. November 10, 2009 12:21 pm

    I love the idea of the green books campaign. Congrats on finishing the challenge, too.

  10. November 10, 2009 12:25 pm

    A green books campaign is a great concept!

    Congrats on completing the WWII reading challenge. I participated in that one unofficially (without realizing it, I was reading fiction/historical fiction about WWII, and continue to do so).

  11. Bellezza permalink
    November 10, 2009 1:21 pm

    Stories of WWII upset me so much, even though your review is excellent. I visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam when I was eight, and I’ll never forget the atrocities that people suffered.

    It’s nice to be made aware of books on recycled paper, though, isn’t it?

  12. November 10, 2009 2:05 pm

    Cool! I was just telling Eva how sad I was that I didn’t get to participate in this event. I love Eco Libris and I love the Earth, but I was far too swamped at the time to committ to anything.

    Thanks for doing this.

  13. November 10, 2009 2:20 pm

    Hey, way to go on the challenge! I think the WWII challenge was my favorite. I went after that one like a dog with a bone, as I am quite obsessed with literature about that era. The fact that the story revolves around Poland, particularly Warsaw, would be all I would need to convince me to read the book. Excellent review!

  14. November 10, 2009 2:53 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge! Even though I didn’t join this time, I have a soft spot for WWI lit and will keep an eye out for this.

  15. November 10, 2009 4:03 pm

    I typically enjoy reading memoirs, especially those about the WWII time period. Thanks for your review.

  16. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 10, 2009 4:48 pm

    I love the focus on green books. Worthy focus of all readers.

  17. November 10, 2009 5:36 pm

    Congrats on finishing the challenge!

    This book looks interesting and I LOVE that it is 100% post-consumer waste. If I am going to continue to hoard books I really need to pay attention to this kind of thing.

  18. November 10, 2009 7:00 pm

    Congrats! I finished the challenge as well. COme by and check out my review for the Green Books Campaign!

  19. November 10, 2009 7:31 pm

    Great review, Kathy! The premise sounds interesting to me!

    And congrats on finishing the challenge! 🙂

  20. November 10, 2009 7:38 pm

    This one does sound interesting!!

  21. November 10, 2009 7:40 pm

    Good review!

  22. November 10, 2009 8:10 pm

    So you’re the one who snagged the book I wanted! 😉

    Glad to hear it’s good, and congrats on completing the challenge!!

  23. November 10, 2009 9:47 pm

    Good review. Thank you. Great day for the “green” awareness also. So nice to have so many blogs to read with reviews today!!

  24. November 10, 2009 11:03 pm

    Congrats on the challenge completion! I like the green books, this is a great campaign!

  25. November 10, 2009 11:22 pm

    This book sounds interesting. I do enjoy books that deal with this particular period in history. It is nice to read a book that renews hope since these folks survived. So many of the books I have read deal with those that ended up in concentration camps and met their demise. While I think it is important to read these too I prefer a book that renews hope since it is less depressing and disturbing to me. I’ve got to be in the right mood to be able to read the other ones!

  26. November 11, 2009 2:49 am

    I would love to read this one, this is something I will surely enjoy! I have yet to read 4 more books for WW2 challenge …

  27. November 11, 2009 2:57 pm

    Yay! Congratulations on finishing the challenge.

  28. November 11, 2009 4:06 pm

    This sounds like a really interesting book, but I have been a bit overwhelmed with books about WWII lately. I might try to get to this one after I get out of my funk. Great review!

  29. November 11, 2009 8:31 pm

    What a story this has to tell! I’m glad you read it for your WWII challenge and shared your impressions of it.

    The Green Book Campaign had some great books on offer; I received one on reading & spirituality which I really enjoyed. And re: Margot’s question, usually the recycled content can be found printed on the reverse of the title page with all the copyright etc. info.

  30. November 11, 2009 9:49 pm

    i’m bummed that i missed this eco-book campaign but am happy that it happened and that you were a part of it.

    congrats on finishing a challenge! after 9 months of book blogging, i have yet to dip toe into an official challenge other than beth fish’s weekend cooking challenge. 🙂

  31. November 16, 2009 12:44 am

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I’m sorry you couldn’t fully connect with the characters although the story was good.

  32. December 3, 2009 3:57 pm

    Congrats on finishing the challenge! This sounds like a good story..and I love that it’s printed on recycled paper..I hope that is a trend that really takes off in the publishing world.

  33. January 3, 2010 12:54 am

    We posted your review on War Through the Generations.


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