Kindertransport

( 3 )

Overview

Mama and I climbed aboard. I waved to Papa until he was only a tiny speck in the distance. The train turned the curve, and he was gone.

The powerful autobiographical account of a young girls' struggle as a Jewish refugee in England from 1939-1945.

The author describes the circumstances in Germany after Hitler came to power that led to the evacuation of many Jewish children to England and her ...

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Kindertransport

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Overview

Mama and I climbed aboard. I waved to Papa until he was only a tiny speck in the distance. The train turned the curve, and he was gone.

The powerful autobiographical account of a young girls' struggle as a Jewish refugee in England from 1939-1945.

The author describes the circumstances in Germany after Hitler came to power that led to the evacuation of many Jewish children to England and her experiences as a young girl in England during World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the World War II reminiscences that middle school readers will devour." —School Library Journal

"Memorable and moving." —Publishers Weekly

"An autobiographical account—compelling in its authentic details—of the author’s WWII years as a Jewish refugee in England." —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drucker's account of her traumatic separation from her parents, who sent her from Germany to England in 1939, is, said PW, ``memorable and moving.'' Ages 10-13. (Oct.) q
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- The author of this personal narrative was born in Germany in 1927 and soon found her life disrupted by the events in Europe in the 1930s. Her mother arranged for her to be part of the Kindertransport , through which 10,000 Jewish children were sent to live with English families. Ollie, 11 when she leaves, speaks virtually no English and finds herself in a series of undesirable living situations: a dingy, louse-infested flat; a luxurious home in which she is virtually ignored; a boarding school that closes when the war begins; a Baptist family intent on avoiding sin; and a home with a sickly woman whose illnesses cause Ollie to miss school. At the age of 16 she leaves her studies to help take care of a family with five children. During this time Ollie worries about her parents' safety in Germany as the war rages, and keeps herself going with thoughts of a reunion with them. Eventually, they make their way to New York, and in 1945, she is able to join them. Her afterword reflects on her experiences as a refugee. The book is touching as well as exciting, and is one of the World War II reminiscences that middle school readers will devour. In a few unfortunates places, the author interjects herself too forcefully into the narrative; for example, she short-circuits a compelling story with comments such as, ``Children don't usually stop to realize what's going on. But if I had, it might have gone something like this. . . .'' In spite of occasional flaws, this is a worthwhile purchase written with an authentic voice.-- Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT
From Barnes & Noble
This poignant story traces the author's adolescent years in wartime England and her tribulations as a German Jew, ending with her immigration to the United States and a reunion with her parents in 1945. "Memorable and moving..."-- Publishers Weekly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805042511
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 636,826
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 8.15 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Olga Levy Drucker was born in Germany in 1927, but her life was disrupted by the events in Europe in the 1930s. Her mother arranged for her to be part of the Kindertransport, through which 10,000 Jewish children were sent to live with English families. After World War II, she made her way to New York, in 1945, where she was reunited with her family.

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Read an Excerpt

 

1

MY HOUSE

“Why is there a tree on top of the house?”

It was winter 1932, and I was standing with my parents in the mud where a street was going to be. I pointed up at the wooden scaffolding around a three-story house. The house looked to me as if it were climbing up the side of the hill. Vineyards still grew behind it. The roof of the house was flat, and a small spruce tree seemed to be sprouting from its top. To the tree was tied a red rag that waved merrily in the cold wind, like a flag.

My brother Hans came bounding out from somewhere in back, bursting with excitement.

“There’s a perfect corner for an Indian tent back there, and I saw a great place for a tree house, and—”

Mama interrupted him. “Look at your boots, Hans. Didn’t I tell you to stay out of the mud?”

Hans looked guiltily down at his boots. Then he raised his curly red head and gave Mama one of those smiles of his. She never could resist them.

But my question hadn’t been answered yet.

“Papa? The tree?”

“Well, it’s just a custom, you see, Ollie,” he said. “No one really remembers why anymore. All I know is that whenever the last nail has been hammered into the framework of a new house, the builders celebrate by placing a tree on the roof. It probably goes back to very ancient times. Anyway, it’s done all over. Does that answer your question, Miss Nosyface?”

“Is it done all over the whole world?” I asked. Papa laughed.

“I don’t know about the whole world, Ollie. All I know is it’s done where we live, here in Stuttgart, Germany.” Papa pulled his shoulders back and stood straighter than that little tree high up on the roof.

“It’s going to be such a beautiful house,” said Mama. Her eyes were shining. “We’ve waited so long for this. I can see it now. White stucco. Big picture window downstairs in the drawing room. I’ll keep a rubber tree plant in it. It will grow and grow and climb clear across the ceiling, just like the one my aunt, Tante Julchen, had when I was a child. And we’ll have a balcony all across the second floor where the bedrooms will be, and—”

“I thought you liked our apartment,” teased Papa, with a perfectly straight face. I could tell how pleased he was, though, by his voice.

“Oh, I do,” Mama answered quickly. “But a house … ! Just think, children. You’ll each have your very own room!”

“And a playroom,” added Papa.

“And a garden with secret hiding places,” added Hans.

“And a roof that’s flat with a tree on it,” said I.

Everybody laughed. “Silly,” said Hans. “The tree doesn’t stay there.” My face must have shown my disappointment. “Never mind,” he tried to comfort me. “You’re only five years old. When you get to be thirteen, like me, you’ll know more stuff.”

“She already knows a lot of stuff,” said Papa. “And if you’re so smart, young man, how about scraping that mud off your boots before your mother has to speak to you about it again?”

“When will our house be finished, Daddy? Will we move into it soon?” He had called him Daddy, the way English children addressed their papas. I knew he was trying to impress him. But he did start scraping his muddy boots on one of the bricks lying around. Papa sighed deeply.

“I certainly hope so,” he said.

Copyright © 1992 by Olga Levy Drucker

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2005

    Amazing Story

    I read this book when I was learning about the Holocaust in the fifth grade. I was fortunately enough to meet the author and listen to her tell her story in her own voice. It is truly a remarkable story about the lives of the Jewish children who were able to escape the terrible fate of so many others in Nazi Germany... I am in college now and taking a class on the Holocaust - I have never been able to forget this story, however.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2000

    COULDNT PUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This was such a touching story. I picked it up in the morning and put it down 2 hours later done, i didnt get up once. It's touching. You feel her need and want of her mom it still brings tears to me eyes. read it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2000

    A must read for anyone interested in the effects of prejudice on children

    Kindertransport is a straightforward yet touching account of a child's life interrupted by prejudice and war. The author brings to life her experiences as an adolescent refugee in a foreign land far away from her home and family. This first person account of a child's witness to history is targeted for middle school students but is a riveting read for older childrena and adults as well.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Freaking hate it

    All i need to say is that who wants to read about a german girl going from house tohouse in england? Who? This book is so disapointing, i thought it would be about the holocaust in germany. But no. Its just like reading the diary of my little sister. This book is a complete disaster and oh god i just hoped when i went home to read it we were asigned a good chapter, but all the chapters are a complete disaster

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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