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My Family for the War
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My Family for the War
Creators: Anne C. Voorhoeve
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Imprint: Dial Books
Pub. date: 02/16/2012
Lib. SRP: 3.50 USD
Ret. SRP: 9.99 USD
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
ISBN: 9781101575215
DRM Level: Adobe Content Server 4
Min. Version: Adobe Digital Editions
File size: 915 KB
Grade Range: Grade 5
Languages:
   English
Subjects:
   Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Literature
Keywords:
   Holocaust
Awards:
  Mildred L. Batchelder Award (American Library Association), Notable Children's Books (Association for Library Service to Children)
Short Description:
   

Winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder medal for most oustanding children's book in translation.

Escaping Nazi Germany on the kindertransport changes one girl's life forever

At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, the train that secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in England. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn't know when or if she'll see her true family again. Against the backdrop of war-torn London, Frances struggles with questions of identity, family, and love, and these experiences shape her into a dauntless, charming young woman.

Originally published in Germany, Anne Voorhoeve's award-winning novel is filled with humor, danger, and romance.

Full Description:
   

Winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder medal for most oustanding children's book in translation.

Escaping Nazi Germany on the kindertransport changes one girl's life forever

At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, the train that secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in England. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn't know when or if she'll see her true family again. Against the backdrop of war-torn London, Frances struggles with questions of identity, family, and love, and these experiences shape her into a dauntless, charming young woman.

Originally published in Germany, Anne Voorhoeve's award-winning novel is filled with humor, danger, and romance.

Reviews:
  Publisher's Weekly
     

March 19, 2012
This multilayered story, first published in Germany, spotlights the "Kindertransport" of Jewish children to London during WWII. Narrated in memoir style by a charming heroine, Ziska, the novel spans from her 11th birthday to her 19th. The narrative also serves as a thorough introduction to Judaism, as the protagonist—who is not actually Jewish but labeled as such in Berlin because of her Jewish ancestors—joins an Orthodox family in London. Given a new name upon her adoption, she recalls, "I had arrived. I was no longer Ziska. From now on I was Frances, and would never want to be anyone else again." Voorhoeve cogently explores themes of motherhood and adoptive families, conveying the girl's complicated relationship with her narcissistic, unstable birth mother and her growing closeness to her loving adoptive one. Frances's friendship and attraction to her adoptive brother Gary is gracefully portrayed, while the devastating cost of the war is tempered by the words of Ziska's professor friend who tells her, "Live!... And live well! That is the only thing you can do for them." Ages 12–up.

  Kirkus
     

February 1, 2012
When her father is arrested on November 9, 1938 (Kristallnacht), and sent to a concentration camp, 10-year-old Franziska Mangold, raised Protestant though of Jewish ancestry, gets a coveted spot on the Kindertransport, which carries her from Berlin to London, where she is taken in by a kind-hearted Orthodox Jewish family. Voorhoeve empathetically explores the effects of Ziska's abrupt separation from her home, family and best friend, Rebekka Liebich, with whom she roamed the neighborhood, in this engaging and often moving coming-of-age story, originally published in Germany. In England she has to adjust to a new language, culture, school, religion and family (Dr. and Mrs. Shepard and their 18-year-old son, Gary). She is even given a new name, Frances. Ziska's story is divided into three books: "Survival Plan 1938-1939," "Blackout 1939-1940," in which Frances is evacuated to the country when Germany invades Poland on September 1, 1939, and "Returning Home 1941-1945," in which there is tragedy, danger, romance, the end of the war and complicated reunions. Throughout, the author skillfully weaves in important aspects of the Kinder experience. Ziska tries desperately to find a sponsor for her parents, experiennces confusion over her identity and religious beliefs as she bonds with her adopted family, feels guilt for those left behind, especially Bekka. An ongoing thread about Jewish ritual and law, especially as it relates to fertility, contains some inaccuracies, which is regrettable, given the context. A glossary would have been helpful. Though occasionally convoluted, it is ultimately a poignant, thoughtful work. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  School Library Journal
     

Starred review from May 1, 2012

Gr 7 Up-In 1938 Berlin, 10-year-old Ziska and her best friend run from classmates-turned-bullies who torment them for being Jewish, even though Ziska's family converted in the last century and she knows nothing of the Jewish religion or culture. When her father is beaten during a brutal midnight raid on their apartment and imprisoned, Ziska earns a position on the kindertransport to England, where she begins a new life as Frances, foster daughter to an Orthodox London "family for the war." In an engaging, honest voice, she relates her fears, triumphs, and revelations as she learns English and the rituals of Judaism, adapts to a new life, and copes with guilt about her growing love for her new family. She tries in vain to acquire permits for her parents to join her while they keep up a soon spotty, strained correspondence that brings increasingly heartbreaking news of those left behind. By war's end, Frances, now 17, has experienced evacuation to the English countryside and another foster home, air raids, bomb shelters, and first love with page-turning immediacy despite the sense that the story is told by a much older, reflective Frances looking back. Events and facts are expertly woven into the girl's emotional growth, and changing relationships-especially those with her complex, fading mother and differently complex foster mother-provide a rich exploration of identity and self. Like Frances, the mostly Jewish cast of secondary characters is varied, multidimensional, and sometimes unlikable. With a compelling main character and taut and insightful story line, this novel is sure to find no shortage of readers, and it adds a valuable perspective to collections of World War II fiction.-Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA

Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Adobe EPUB eBook Rights:
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  Printing not allowed
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  Reading aloud not allowed
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