The Dollmaker of Krakow is a historical fantasy set in Poland. What makes this story unique, is the main character Karolina is a doll. Dollmaker is charming and devastating at the same time. The story is told over a period of years, throughout this time we see the world around the dollmaker deteriorate. His face constantly bears the reminders and harsh realities of war, and it wasn’t until he met Karolina that he began to come out of his shell.
We learn just how much the Dollmaker cares for his friends and he contemplates how he can help his Jewish friends. As the story progresses, we see his story parallels what happened in Karolina’s home The Land of the Dolls. The chapters alternate between Karolina’s time in The Land of Dolls and her life with the Dollmaker and we begin to learn just how much alike these two instances are. I was very impressed at the point of view in which this story is told. While it is third person narrative, it follow’s Karolina’s character. The fairytale aspect of this story makes it unique, with the historical portion of the story adding to the overall plot.
I fell in love with each of the story’s characters, following each one as the story progressed, you begin to understand the realism of the time and living under Nazi rule. This book deals with the heavy topics of WWII in a very real but understanding way for young teens. Some parts are scary and some are definitely sad, but if you are looking for a new book to introduce your tween to, this is definitely it.
The Dollmaker of Krakow is an amazing work, and will surely be considered among the new class of literary classics.
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