Torn Thread

Torn Thread

5.0 13
by Anne Isaacs
     
 

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Twelve-year-old Eva and her sister have been forced to leave their home in Poland and are imprisoned in a Nazi labor camp. There they must spin thread on treacherous machinery to make clothing and blankets for the German Army. As Eva struggles amid ever worsening dangers to save her life and that of her sick sister, readers witness how two teenagers strive to create… See more details below

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Eva and her sister have been forced to leave their home in Poland and are imprisoned in a Nazi labor camp. There they must spin thread on treacherous machinery to make clothing and blankets for the German Army. As Eva struggles amid ever worsening dangers to save her life and that of her sick sister, readers witness how two teenagers strive to create home and family amidst inhumanity and chaos. Written in exquisite prose, this story of heartbreak and hope that is rich in detail and symbolism will deeply move readers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
HIn a noteworthy departure, Isaacs (Swamp Angel; Treehouse Tales) turns her considerable literary gifts to a painful subject--her mother-in-law's experiences as a teenage prisoner of a Nazi camp--and transforms it into a powerful work of fiction. Like most stories of survival, this one is marked by unlikely turns and conjunctions, which, taken together, preserve the protagonist's life. Eva Buchbinder, 12 years old in 1943, has recently been forced into the Jewish ghetto in Bedzin, Poland, along with her father and sickly older sister, Rachel. After Rachel is seized in a roundup, Eva's father (who has, like other Jews, been forced to work for the Germans without pay) asks the commandant at his worksite to find out exactly where Rachel has been sent--and to have Eva sent there as well. Soon Eva is transported to a slave labor camp in Czechoslovakia, where she indeed finds Rachel. The conditions are terrible: starvation rations, dangerous conditions at the textile factory where they work, rampant disease and, always, the threat of deportation to Auschwitz. Eva struggles internally as well, trying her best to protect the frail Rachel, keeping from Rachel the news that the Bedzin ghetto has been liquidated and weighing the invitation of a fellow-prisoner to join up with partisan fighters. Isaacs takes the measure of acts of casual cruelty or kindness and lets readers see the repercussions. Given its precise detail and sensitivity to unimaginable suffering, this gripping novel reads like the strongest of Holocaust memoirs. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
Eva is twelve years old when her father makes arrangements for her to join her sister, Rachel, in a work camp in Czechoslovakia, rather than wait for a Nazi raid in Poland. Before he says goodbye, he tells Eva that any choice that will grant even one more hour of life for herself and Rachel is the one she must make. This is Eva's guiding principle during two excruciating years as a slave laborer in a Nazi textile mill. Rachel is susceptible to colds and is often sick. Eva knits in the evenings and on Sundays in exchange for extra food. She volunteers to dig trenches at the promise of hot stew. Whatever she gets, she shares with Rachel. Rachel's frail health keeps the reader on edge throughout the novel. Her miraculous recovery from typhus just after liberation is transcendent. This tale of sisterly love and astounding determination is based on the experiences of the author's motherinlaw. Isaacs has beautifully transcribed her family's history. This novel will not become a wallflower among a host of other Holocaust novels. In these pages, readers will find an inspirational strength of character, sibling loyalty, and faith. 2000, Scholastic, Ages 10 up, $15.95. Reviewer: Jackie Hechtkopf
Childrens Book Watch
Eva has become used to life under Nazi rule in the Polish ghetto, and must face a new world when she and her sister are taken from their father and imprisoned in a Nazi work camp in Czechoslovakia. Forced to endure harsh conditions there, Eva's world revolves around keeping her frail sister alive and longing for their family's reunion.
—Childrens Book Watch
From the Publisher

"The author of the uproarious tall tale Swamp Angel (1994) moves into a very different mode here in a grim Holocaust novel based on her mother-in-law's experience as a young teenage prisoner in a Nazi labor camp. The focus of Eva's story is always her bond with her fragile older sister, Rachel. They protect, even overprotect, each other, first in the Polish ghetto, and then for two years as prisoners in a Nazi labor camp in Czechoslovakia, where every day, every hour, is a struggle with hunger, disease, cold, and hard labor. Isaacs tells it without exploitation or sentimentality. She shows that there are Poles, and even some Jews, who help the Nazis and that many ordinary people are afraid to do anything or are just "uninterested." There is even one German camp officer who secretly does what he can to help the prisoners. The genocide horror is distanced because this is not a death camp, though Eva witnesses heartrending scenes of prisoners being marched to Auschwitz. Tension builds as the sisters, starving, sick, surrounded by filth, and checking each other's hair for lice, try to stay alive in the last months, one hour at time, until the Allies liberate the camp. As with the brother and sister in Anita Lobel's No Pretty Pictures (Booklist's 1998 Top of the List winner for Youth Nonfiction) and in Schoschana Rabinovici's Thanks to My Mother (the 1998 Batchelder Award winner), family love is a fact of survival". Booklist

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590603638
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/1900
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
7.86(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.48(d)
Lexile:
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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