In Chapter 34, Mr. Milgrom includes Misha in Hanukkah. I think this is significant. First of all, Misha is becoming more and more a complete part of this family, but as the author suggests by mentioning Mrs. Milgrom’s previous opposition towards Misha participating in Hannukah, he still isn’t a Jew by blood and that cannot change. I also think that the celebration of Hanukkah confirms my thoughts about the character of Mr. Milgrom. He continues to do the things he did before the Holocaust as much as possible, including celebrating this important holiday. He also saves the silver candlestick when he could have sold it for food. Unfortunately, it is stolen, and he mentions that it upsets him that a Jew would steal from another Jew. This just again confirms that he is someone who will stay sane, civil, human even when put into animalistic situations like the Jewish Ghetto.
The author chooses to have Janina’s renewal of spirit to occur at the same time the season changes to spring, and I think this is no coincidence. Still, it is clear that though Janina is a little bit like her old self, she will never really be the same.
I felt really angry with Janina when she would not listen to Misha. He was trying to save her, but she was too stubborn. Most likely, she was killed for her own stubbornness, and Misha would have died too if it weren’t for Uri who saved him.
After Janina disappears on the train, the book’s pace increases significantly. In only a few chapters, months pass, and then, the war is over. Throughout these chapters, what is happening is pretty confusing. I think Misha is delusional, and Jerry Spinelli wants me to feel just as confused as Misha’s memory is. I am getting scared that Misha will never see Janina or any of his old family again.