Just when I was convinced that I couldn’t be surprised or moved by yet another emotionally wrenching Holocaust story, veteran author Spinelli proved me wrong. Misha is an orphan in the Warsaw ghetto who can’t remember his real name, who his parents were, or where he was born. With his coloring, he could be a Jew or a Gypsy, neither of which is safe in Hitler’s Europe. Having never known any other life than that of a hungry beggar and a thief, Misha takes pleasure in small things, like a warm mouthful of bread, or the polished boots of the Nazi soldiers. He is shockingly naive, not recognizing the danger that surrounds him until it almost too late. It is only when most of his gang of orphan friends have been killed or deported that he begins to see how amazing it is that he has survived this long, and plans his own escape from the ghetto. There are images in this book that will haunt me forever, mostly the picture Spinelli paints of a group of Nazi soldiers and their girlfriends, who come to the ghetto in their rich clothes and full bellies to throw bread to the starving Jewish children as if they were hungry birds, and laugh as they fight over it. Gorgeous writing, but oh so sad. Keep some Kleenex handy.