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Review of Jim Shepard’s moving The Book of Aron

BookAronEverything in Aron’s life is about making do. A young Jewish boy growing up within the ever tightening noose that had been placed around the Warsaw Ghetto he’s unhappy and morose. He is struggling to fit in, within his own family and within the wild sometimes brutal networks of children frequently left to their own devices on the streets.

Jim Shepard‘s The Book of Aron takes us deep into the organised misery that was the ghetto. Aron and his gang, particularly his friend Lutek, steal and scavenge, at first to be rebellious in a world where the normal constraints of childhood have all but disappeared. But eventually it becomes a necessity to help their families, and particularly themselves, survive. They learn to operate within, and sometimes successfully manipulate, the brutal hierarchy that administers and enforces life in the ghetto.


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