MER - Mom Egg Review

My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Introducing My Real Name is Hanna, by Tara Lynn Masih

Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray. Highly recommended by the Jewish Book Council, it’s sure to be a wonderful addition to your mother/daughter bookclub.

A 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award Book
Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele–and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits.

Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him–and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.

Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit.


“A carefully researched, often moving narrative of one family’s struggle for survival.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The story . . . is told effectively and movingly. . . . This is a well written and highly recommended selection.” —Jewish Book Council
“Hanna’s story brutally captures the slow, relentless creep of wartime chaos into ordinary lives, then uncovers an astonishing, rich vein of hope in a world gone utterly dark. The anguish and love painted here are both timeless and timely.”–Elizabeth WeinNew York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity
“Author Masih maintains a perfect balance of pacing and tension, and in Hanna creates a strong and inspiring young female protagonist. Elegantly detailed . . . Highly readable and affecting, it’s a haunting and hopeful work that deserves a broad audience. And at this particularly divisive time when fear and intolerance is constantly crowding the headlines, this book offers seeds of compassion to young and experienced readers alike.”–Small Press Book Review

“A gripping story of courage and endurance in the face of Nazi terror . . . My Real Name Is Hanna is a book that lives with you long after you have turned the final page.”–Diney Costeloe, best-selling author of The Girl with No Name and The Throwaway Children

Tara Lynn Masih has won multiple book awards in her role as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. She is author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories and the forthcoming novel My Real Name Is Hanna. She founded The Best Small Fictions series. Awards for her work include the Lou P. Bunce Creative Writing Award, The Ledge Magazine’s Fiction Award, and a finalist fiction grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


My Real Name is Hannah
by Tara Lynn Masih
Mandel Vilar Press (September, 2018)
224 pages, paper.
ISBN 978-1942134510

Comments are closed.