My Family for the Warby Anne C. Voorhoeve
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/b>
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4.5 stars Take a young Jewish girl in Berlin, add World War II and the Holocaust. I thought it was going to be an intensely tragic book, and instead it was fascinating, humorous in places, and uplifting, despite a generous sprinkling of fear and tragedy. Franziska, aged about 11, doesn’t even know she’s Jewish - her parents and grandparents, even, were all Christian. This doesn’t matter to the Nazis - her father is beaten, the family is terrorized, and her mother “abandons” her by getting Ziska put on one of the last kindertransport trains to leave the country. In London, she walks into her foster home, an Orthodox Jewish family, wearing a cross necklace. This is the beginning of much culture shock, as Frances slowly comes to adjust to, even love, her new family. While still worried about her family of origin, she and her new family are not safe either, as London becomes a major bombing target. Eventually Frances is uprooted yet again, sent to the countryside with other London children, to a foster home with a very different atmosphere. Ziska/Frances is a compelling, far from perfect character, but she loves, and she survives, not without some grief and laughter along the way. I highly recommend this book, for readers of all ages.
I read this book for a class assignment, and I adored it. Every event weaves so perfectly with the others, and in the end, you realize why each one happened. Even though it may be heartbreaking, this book deserves 10 stars out of 5.