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Transcript of Briar Rose
by Jane Yolen
About the Author
Jane Yolen is born in February 11, 1939 in New York City.
She is an American writer and poet.
Has writen over 280 books in her life time.
Known for writing the book "The Devil's Arthmetic"which won the National Jewish Book Award and was nominated for the Nebula award for best novel in 1988.
As a young girl, she loved to write and sing. Her family moved a lot. Also, her father was a Second Lieutenant in World War II and he fought in England
She attended Staples High School and then graduated into Smith College.
In 1962, Jane Yolen married David W. Staples, but he died of cancer in 2006.They have three children and six grandchildren.
Jane Yolen lives in Western Massachusetts as a full time writer and poet.
Setting, Time, and Place
-The beginning of the book takes place in Massachusetts, where the author talks about Gemma's life with Becca and her sisters before she dies.
-During her adventure of finding out what happened in Gemma's past, she stumbles upon a place called Oswego.
The main character of the story - Becca
Very strong and courageous
Curious from childhood
-Becca then goes to Chelmno, Poland to find out the truth about her grandmother's past.
-All of the research that Becca does during the book is most probably done a few decades after the Holocaust happened.
-When Josef, a friend of Becca's grandmother, tells a story that takes place during World War II or between 1942-1944, the most important part of the novel is revealed.
-The Holocaust played the biggest role in this book.
Briar Rose is a very enjoyable book.
-Without the reader's knowledge of such a horrifying event, Gemma's past wouldnt hold as much significance.
-This time period was the basis of Gemma's experiences, which led to story telling about a character that related to her past the most--Briar Rose.
"Briar Rose" by Jane Yolen is a young adult, historical novel about a girl named Becca who has been frightened, and captivated by her grandma Gemma's story called Briar Rose.
The book is divided into two parts, the "home", and the "castle".
As little girls, she and her sisters would listen to their grandma tell stories to them. Gemma's favorite story to tell her grandchildren was Briar Rose or Sleeping Beauty. All throughout their lives they heard the story from Gemma and once she had died, she claimed herself as Briar Rose.
Becca, the main character, wanted to learn more about her grandmother's past. Briar Rose has turned from a harmless fairytale to reality. With a box of trinkets and clues, Becca investigates Gemma's life.
What she finds leads her to a small town called Kulmoff in the 1940s Poland. Becca decides to visit Chelmno and discovers a link with a man by the name of Josef Potocki in Poland.
She discovers that her grandmother was actually a survivor of the Holocaust who was to be persecuted for her Polish ethnicity and Jewish belief, and sent to Chełmno extermination camp to be executed.
Influence on story
This curiosity leads her on to discover her past about
Research skills from working as a reporter for a newspaper (role of detective)
Becca is also a sleeping beauty figure as she only really awakes to reality and her prince after she hears the story of Gemma’s past. Becca’s kiss with Stan at the end of the novel is again an allusion to a fairytale ending
Plays Gemma’s role - telling the children in the family the story of Briar Rose. This is further evidence that Becca has taken Gemma’s place as the Briar Rose princess.
- Personally, I loved this book because of the way the author incorporated the story of Sleeping Beauty and related it to the Holocaust.
An important event that happened in the flashback that Josef was telling, was when they pulled Gitl Mandelstein, or Gemma, out of the trench.
Another important event that was in the same flashback was when they revealed who had "kissed" Gemma back to life or in reality gave her CPR..
Gemma was then married to the Avenger, a man in the partisans group.
The Avenger and a few other partisans were killed in a attack. A few days later, Gemma found out that she was pregnant. Josef and the other partisans helped Gemma escape and she soon ended up in the United States.
Becca consults Stan, a good friend and journalist who works for an newspaper company and helps uncovers historical facts.
Using Gemma's belongings and documents, Becca finds that Gemma was called Gitl Mandelstein and her nickname was Ksieznicka (means princess in Polish). Also, Gemma camed to the United States in 1944 and was Jewish.
Through Gemma's documents, Becca finds that Gemma last destination in Europe was a small town called Kulmoff (by the Germans). She decides to travel Chełmno, Poland to uncover the story of Gemma's life as well as Briar Rose.
In Chelmno, Poland Beeca meets Josef who tells her his story of his time in Chelmo and how he meet her grandmother, Gemma.
"Timeline." BriarRose. Tangient LLC, n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2013.
Becca returns back to home in the US and tells her family the story and what she discovered. At the airport, Stan is there to pick her up. He kisses her, and says "We'll get to our happily ever after eventually".
Ghourizi, Angela. "Briar Rose Summary Notes." - Term Papers. StudyMode.com, n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2013.
Setting is in Massachusetts, U.S.A. 1942-1944
Becca is a young girl, she and her older sisters Shana and Sylvia listen to the fairytale of Briar Rose told by their grandma Gemma.
Gemma is dying; on her deathbed, she claims herself as Briar Rose and makes Becca swear to find the castle in the Briar Rose fairytale.
- The story is very interesting and immediatly grabs your attention because you develop so many questions about Gemma and her past that you have to stick to the book and finish it to the very end.
- I really enjoyed reading this book because it reminds me of the time when I was little reading Sleeping Beauty over and over again. I was never tired of reading this fairytale. To understand a haunting, heartbreaking tale of the Holocaust is just unforgettable. The best part of the book is when Gemma is found, carried by her future husband, and saved by the taste of her prince's breath of air is just magnificent, beautiful, and heartwarming of a true fairytale. I recommend Briar Rose to readers who love a great mystrey, a gorgeous fairytale, and an appealing historical view of the dreadful days during the Holocaust.
Briar Rose written in 1812 by Brothers Grimmis a version of the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty which is what this book is based on.