Guardian Angel House

Guardian Angel House

4.5 2
by Kathy Clark

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Susan and Vera are sheltered from the Nazis by a group of Nuns during WWIISee more details below


Susan and Vera are sheltered from the Nazis by a group of Nuns during WWII

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"This books serves not only as a reminder of the inhumanity of the holocaust, but also of the strength of will of the survivors of this most horrific period of history...Highly recommended."
CM Magazine
"Clark details aspects of their daily life so that children in the target age group will be able to identify with the difficulties and unhappiness the sisters experienced...Guardian Angel House will prove to be a popular book in school libraries and for personal purchases."
"A thoughtful exploration of World War II from a unique perspective...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."
Canadian Jewish News
"Well told and fast paced. Young readers, especially girls, will admire the characters and find the book suspenseful and easy to understand, yet also very educational."
Children's Bookwatch
"A moving story with roots in fact, Guardian Angel House is a great way to teach young readers about the Holocaust through fiction."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Offers a glimpse of some of the many small but heroic acts of the Holocaust – and an interesting portrait of an institution that reached out across any religious barriers to save the lives of many children."
Children’s Bookwatch
"A moving story with roots in fact, Guardian Angel House is a great way to teach young readers about the Holocaust through fiction."
VOYA - Dawn Talbott
Clark tells the story of a young girl and her sister who are Jews living in Hungary during World War II in this novel. As the Nazis grow ever stronger, Susan and Vera's lives change more every day. Things become desperate after Father is sent to a work camp, and eventually the girls' mother sends them into hiding at the Guardian Angel House, a Catholic convent in Budapest. The girls fear for their family's safety as well as for their own Jewish identity when surrounded by nuns of a foreign faith. Susan discovers that friendship's ties go beyond any religion or ethnicity, and ultimately realizes that she is much braver and more valuable than she thought. This book is based on the author's aunt's true story, but it never feels like a biography. Readers identify quickly with Susan, an adolescent who doubts herself but who finds purpose and unexpected friendships in a time of strife. A gripping story unfolds as readers marvel with Susan at the life the nuns lead, feel her joy in finding ways to contribute, and share her sorrow as her life is turned upside down. Although the horror of the Nazi reign is not the book's focus, readers experience the atrocities from the young girl's point of view. The truth is not sugarcoated, nor is it graphically stated, striking a perfect balance. Clark does the true story justice in this well-written account of one family's struggle through Holocaust. Reviewer: Dawn Talbott
VOYA - Julie Watkins
Twelve-year-old Susan has been forced to sit by and watch her liberties and those of other Jews be taken away as a tidal wave of anti-Semitic hatred envelops her native Budapest. Now her father has been deported to a labor camp and rumors abound about what fate lies in store for the rest of Hungary's Jewish population. Realizing the terrible danger her family is facing, Susan's mother makes the difficult decision to send her and her younger sister Vera to the nearby Sisters of Charity convent, which is providing a safe haven for Jewish girls. Although it is a difficult adjustment, Susan and Vera are soon basking in the comfort and gentle nature of the Sisters and working hard to maintain a semblance of normalcy amidst the destruction and chaos swirling around the convent walls. The nuns endeavor to ensure that the girls maintain their religious identity, even though it differs from the Sisters' own religious convictions. The girls learn to trust others again and realize that even in the face of unspeakable evil, there are people who will risk everything to do what is right. This fictionalized dramatization of a true story is written by the real-life Vera's daughter. In addition to the story, there are historical photographs and notes throughout. It is a poignant and relatively gentle introduction to the atrocities of the Holocaust that focuses on the bravery demonstrated during one of history's darkest hours. Reviewer: Julie Watkins
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The Sisters of Charity of the Guardian Angel Convent in Budapest saved the lives of more than 100 Jewish children during World War II. Based on the experiences of her mother and aunt, Clark provides a compelling, fictionalized account documenting the courage and compassion of these nuns. Through the connections of their mother's childhood friend, Isi, a Catholic, 12-year-old Susan and her 6-year-old sister, Vera, are taken to the convent after their father is sent to a labor camp. They join other Jewish girls in hiding and quickly adapt to their new life. Their days are filled with prayer, chores, studies, and recreation. The nuns respect Jewish traditions, allowing the girls to light the Sabbath and Hanukkah candles and to conduct a Passover Seder, but they also teach them the rites and customs of Catholicism—both out of respect and for protection. And, when Budapest is under attack, the nuns create a shelter in the crypt beneath the church, risking their own lives to protect the girls from bombs and Nazi raids. Miraculously, Susan and Vera are reunited with their parents, who survived the war through the aid of Raoul Wallenberg, and again with the help of Isi, the family immigrates to Canada. Black-and-white photographs and an afterword help to bring the story and history to life. This is a touching and heartwarming tribute to the Righteous Gentiles of the Guardian Angel House and a highly readable, accessible resource to introduce students to the Holocaust.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

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Product Details

Second Story Press
Publication date:
Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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