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VOYAThis Holocaust memoir is written from the perspective of Inge Joseph, whose teen years were consumed by hiding from the Nazis. Inge wrote a sixty-six-page diary about her experiences, but after she took her life at the age of fifty-seven because of her deteriorating health and haunting memories, her nephew David began to research Inge's life and completed the memoir in his aunt's voice. As the Nazi threat was growing in Germany, Inge was sent by her family to a wealthy relative's home in Belgium. When the Nazis advanced, Inge was deposited into a home with other Jewish children. From there her story is one of hiding, primarily in an old chateau in Southern France, with dozens of children who were assisted by a stubborn Swiss Red Cross nurse, Rosli. Inge's experiences included one brief stay at a concentration camp from which Rosli extricated the children, one failed escape attempt into Switzerland, assumption of a false identity, and finally her successful escape to Switzerland. Inge's story moves at a deliberate pace. The foreknowledge that her depression moved her to suicide looms over the account. An illuminating note by Inge's nephew emphasizes that she never shared her whole story with anyone, even as she sank into illness and drug dependency to mask her pain and unhappiness. Not until David obtained her diary and did years of research did her whole story emerge. Teens who are interested in Holocaust stories will find this memoir an interesting and sad reading experience. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Eerdmans, 313p.; Photos. Maps., $24. Ages 12to 18.
—Mary Ann Darby