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Momma had always told Susan that there was no safe place for a Jew, especially in German occupied Hungary in 1944. Why then were twelve-year-old Susan and her little sister, Vera, being sent to a convent to be kept safe. Susan and her sister soon discover the true nature of courage, sheltered by a group of nuns who risk their lives to protect them. Based on true events, the Guardian Angel House was the nickname given to a convent operated by the Sisters of Charity in Budapest. The nuns there sheltered over 120 ...
Momma had always told Susan that there was no safe place for a Jew, especially in German occupied Hungary in 1944. Why then were twelve-year-old Susan and her little sister, Vera, being sent to a convent to be kept safe. Susan and her sister soon discover the true nature of courage, sheltered by a group of nuns who risk their lives to protect them. Based on true events, the Guardian Angel House was the nickname given to a convent operated by the Sisters of Charity in Budapest. The nuns there sheltered over 120 Jewish children during the German invasion of Hungary, including author Kathy Clark's mother and aunt.
Kathy Clark was born in Budapest, Hungary, and moved to Canada as a young girl. She based this book on the true story of her mother and aunt after hearing their amazing story. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her family.
Posted April 16, 2014
I will be reviewing the book Guardian Angel House. The author is Kathy Clark. She wrote this book after watching a Hungarian documentary about the nuns at the Sisters of Charity convent in Budapest and realizing these were the people who had protected her mother and aunt from the Nazis. This book is full of details about the Holocaust, and young readers would enjoy reading this.
In 1944, Hungary had been invaded by the Nazis. Susan and her sister, Vera, was sent to a Catholic convent so they could be safe. The Sisters of Charity took care of the girls while the Nazis were invading them. Susan and Vera feel better knowing that they were not the only Jewish girls hiding in the convent. While they were not being invaded, all of the girls had chores to do. For instance, Susan was in the garden with one of the Sisters. Even though they are hiding in a safe crypt beneath the church, they were still in danger. Susan and Vera learn that the nuns risk their lives to keep the Jewish girls safe, while they were being invaded.
Young readers would be very interested in reading Guardian Angel House. Believe it or not, this book is based on a true story. This event occurred at Budapest, Hungary. The convent was run by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. “I’m so glad you drew these pictures,” Mama exclaimed. “They bring your stay there to life for me. Now I don’t feel so much like I’ve missed out on a whole year of your lives.” This book compares to The Diary of Anne Frank because the Jewish girls were in the crypt of the basement when the siren went off. Also, the people in Anne Frank were in the Secret Annex hiding from Nazis. In both stories, there are conflicts with the characters.
Guardian Angel House is a great book, full of emotions and details throughout the whole book. The emotions set in when a soldier come pounding on the door telling Papa that he is being sent to a labor camp and wouldn’t be back for a while. Susan, Vera, and Aunt Isi were on their way to the convent on Gellert Mountain. When they arrived at the convert both girls gasped as they stepped inside the ancient church. Aunt Isi gently guided the girls toward the nuns and then departed. Without Aunt Isi, Vera became more fearful amidst the strangers and tightly held on to Susan’s hand. Mother Gabriel greeted them to be at the convent with all of the sisters. Susan and Vera finally got comfortable being there with other Jewish girls. The invasion was soon over and the family came together. They noticed Aunt Isi was not there with them until they received a letter from her. Isi was in Canada with her brother’s assistance. The letter was mostly about Isi telling Mama that she was safe and that she wanted them to move over there to where she was.
Posted July 5, 2009
It is 1944 and Susan is scared. Although the war has been raging for years now, the Nazis are only now beginning to impose their ethnic cleansing ideals on Hungary. Papa always told the family that what happened in Poland, the Czech Republic, and other Nazi-occupied countries could never happen in Hungary. Even when Susan began to be ignored at school or when the grocer refused to sell food to Mama, Susan believed her father when he said everything would be okay.
But when Papa is sent away to work in a labor camp, Susan doesn't know what to believe anymore.
Mama wants the family to stay put - how else will Papa find them when he gets out of the camp? However, Mama's childhood friend, Aunt Isi, convinces Mama that it would be safer if, at the very least, the two girls go into hiding. There is a nearby Catholic convent that is taking in young Jewish girls and hiding them from the Nazis.
Susan is eleven and Vera is just six. Susan promises Mama that she will take care of her little sister, but she doesn't want to leave Mama and their baby brother, Tomas, behind. Who knows how long it will be before the family is reunited?
Luckily for Susan and Vera, the nuns at the convent are very warm and loving, welcoming the girls with open arms and willing to break the Nazi law to protect them. Susan soon makes friends with some of the other Jewish girls and begins a new life of her own, tending the vegetable garden and helping in the kitchen.
Forced to mature beyond her years, Susan learns the true meaning of courage and discovers that Catholicism and Judaism have more in common than she could have ever imagined. Even though they are of a different faith, the nuns always treated the other girls lovingly and with respect.
Kathy Clark's GUARDIAN ANGEL HOUSE is a thoughtful exploration of World War II from a unique perspective Clark has the advantage of retelling a true story: Susan and Vera are her aunt and mother. With the help of valuable research and a trip to the convent in Budapest, Clark paints an accurate portrait of the young Jewish girls protected by the safe haven that the Catholic convent offered.
Both tragic and hopeful, Clark molds non-fiction into an adventurous tale suitable for younger readers.