by Andrea Cheng


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As a young girl in Budapest in the 1930s, Marika dreams of growing up to be a scientist or maybe an explorer. An older brother who never tells her anything, a beloved rag doll, an embarrassing mother, school, friends—Marika's life revolves around ordinary things until her father decides to build a wall in their home, creating separate living quarters for himself. Why can't they live together, like her friend Zsofi's family?

Then, when Marika is fifteen, the Germans occupy Budapest, and war surrounds her. Her ordinary life disintegrates as her friends and family separate. Forced into hiding, Marika begins to understand the fragility and strength of the bonds among family and friends, and gradually she comes to terms with her shattered world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781886910782
Publisher: Highlights
Publication date: 08/28/2002
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Lexile: HL600L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Andrea Cheng is the daughter of Hungarian immigrants, and grew up among extended family — all Holocaust survivors. She lives in Cincinnati.

Table of Contents

Sore Throats47
The Summer House56
The Chosen People84
Tibor and Tamas93
Yellow Stars115
Pea Soup128
Niece from Szendro149

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Marika 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WonLove More than 1 year ago
Making a choice is always a difficult thing to do. It may be easy like choosing a flavor of some ice cream but some choices are way more difficult than that, such as leaving your family and live or live with your family and suffer. Marika, the protagonist of Marika, by Andrea Cheng, has to make the decision similar to that. Only she doesn't decide it, but her parents force her to. This novel takes place during the years of Hitler taking over Europe. Marika's family lives in Budapest, Hungary. They are fairly rich but they are Jewish. In the beginning of the story, Marika's father and her uncle are with Marika, watching Marika forging fake identification papers for their family. Marika has the best calligraphy handwriting in her grade; which helped her to write all the identification papers as if they were written in the 1800's. Marika is a very young and immature child. Therefore, she doesn't know what is going around in the outside world. She isn't all happy or sad though; she has problems on her own. Her father had built a wall between the house; half the house for only her father and the remaining half for the rest of the family. That is not the end. The soldiers and the government announce that all Jews should wear the Star of David on their clothes so they can tell who is Jewish or not. Soon, Marika's family is separated all over Hungary. She is sent to her father's close friend's fiancé, Ilonka. Ilonka takes care of Marika and she is protected. They go on a sad but adventurous journey. Later, some of the neighbors of Marika die, but her family remains alive till the end of the war. The plot of the story is very smooth and the characters of the novel change noticeably in the novel. Also, the rich and interesting information about the war gives the reader more knowledge of the war. The adventurous story of the Jews during the hard times excites the reader and encourages them to go on further reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does our religion really separate us? In the Book "Marika" the main character, is a twelve years old girl living in Hungary. She was given the name Schnurmacher Marika Etelka Olga. She had a typical family with one exception, they were Jewish. Marika had one sibling and his named was Andres. Andres was a tad older than his sister and knew much more on what was going on and why it was bad that they were Jews. Apa and Anya were Marika and Andres' parents; sadly things between them weren't working out anymore. Eventually Apa had found someone new, named Sari Neni who happens to live in the same building and was the mother of Tibor and Tamas. Tibor and Tamas were some of Marika's close friend, they were very talented on playing instruments. Another close friend of Marika's was Zsofi, who was also Jewish. The main external conflict in this book is about people discriminating Jewish people. In this book many people dislike Jews, for no absolute reason but only for they're religion. which seems pretty ridiculous, cause every person believes in different things which makes us different and unique. Later on in this book Marika and her family are forced into hiding with a lot of other Jewish families because the Nazis invaded Hungary. Another external conflict in the book is that Marika's father, is seeing another women. Also Marika is very bothered on the wall that was built in the middle of her apartment. Which split the apartment in two, on for Apa and the other half for Anya, Marika, and Andres. The parts that make up the rising action are when the wall was built between the apartment. Another rising action is when Marika is told to make false papers for her faily saying that they are Cathlolic. And the last rising action is when Marika and her family hear in the radio that Hitlor and the Nazis have invade other parts of the country. What I like about this book is that the situation was something that used to happen. Also I liked how it was written in first person, so I was able to know what the main character was thinking through out the whole book. Lastly I liked how this book had my attention after the first two chapters, the author is a good attention getter. Two things I dislike about the book is how the author ended the book, it seemed like a dull ending. Another was thing I disliked is how they treated Jew back then. They are regular people just like everyone else in the world, but just because they don't believe in what other people believe they are less important? I don't think so, all people are different that's what makes them unique and beautiful in their own way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very interesting. We had to read this book and do a project on it in my english class. Marika was a very determined young girl who was raised in a jewish family but under the catholic religion. this book tells her story and the hardships that she had to overcome to stay alive during the Holocaust. i recommend this story to younger readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marika was sooooo good! Why doesn't anybody write a review for this. My sister's name is Marika and that's why I chose to read it. Marika is a Jewish Hungarian girl who has been raised Catholic and has to deal with the war. The genre would probably be historical fiction. But I loved it, and READ IT!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Schnurmacher, Marika is six years old maturing in the European country of Hungary. She lives with her only sibling Andras, and her mother Anya slumped in depression. She grows up in conflicts, but finally realizes the greatest conflict of all she has not even noticed yet. Hitler was progressing into her beloved country of Hungary. Finally in February, 1944 the Nazi party takes over Hungary. She has to go into hiding and is on a journey to reunite herself with her family. I rate this book with 4 stars. I highly recommend it to readers of all ages.