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What World is Left

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com

    Anneke and her family live a privileged life in Amsterdam. <BR/><BR/>She and her brother go to school, wear fine clothes, and never want for anything. Their world is turned upside down after the Nazis take control of Holland. They are forced to wear yellow stars on their clothing, they must attend a Jewish school instead of their own, and, inevitably, are forced to relocate to Theresienstadt, a "model" concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. <BR/><BR/>Life is difficult in the camp. Every member of Anneke's family must work to stay alive. They face disease, hunger, and violence on a daily basis. Anneke works hard to maintain her dignity and pride while in the camp, but her will is constantly tested. She watches as her father, a celebrated cartoonist, is forced to create propaganda materials for the <BR/>Reich. <BR/><BR/>Anneke does not understand how her father can help the Nazis while they are suffering. His reasons are made apparent once the war has ended. <BR/><BR/>WHAT WORLD IS LEFT is a work of fiction inspired by true events. Polak's own mother spent a little over two years in the Theresienstadt camp. Many of the events in the novel were taken from stories that Polak's mother related to her, including the family's means of survival. Polak's grandfather, a Dutch artist, created propaganda drawings for the Nazis, thereby securing their safety while in the camp. <BR/><BR/>Ms. Polak has taken great care in telling this story because it is so very personal. It is an excellent novel - a great tale of overcoming adversity in a time of such dark despair.

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