The Whirlwindby Carol Matas
It is 1941. Fourteen-year-old Ben Friedman flees the horrors of Nazi Germany with his parents and his sister, leaving behind his grandparents, his friends, his home. They make a difficult journey over land and sea all the way to Japan and then to America. In Seattle, Ben dares to hope that he will finally be safe. He finds a friend in John, a Japanese-American boy, but then comes the attack on Pearl Harbor and everything changes. Fear begins to grow in Ben, fear that it is all happening again. Where can he be safe? What should he do? He dreams of Canada, thinking it a haven, only to find that he has nowhere to turn, nowhere to run. Perhaps safety is not where or even what he thinks it is. Perhaps life is not what he imagined at all.
Gr 6 & Up - Benjamin Friedman, a 15-year-old Jewish boy, fears for his life in Nazi Germany. Fortunately, his family is able to escape Hitler, arriving in Seattle in the summer of 1941. Ben is relieved to be there but is upset and confused by his experiences. He blames his father for not taking action earlier as well as for his inability to secure American visas for the boy's grandparents. The teen tries to settle into his new life but faces bullying because he is German. He is afraid for John, his Japanese-American classmate, and tries to convince his friend and his own family that America is not safe and that they must flee to Canada. No one understands Ben's concerns-they believe he is ill-and this only makes him more determined to take matters into his own hands. After John's family is sent to an internment camp and the Friedmans' house is attacked, Ben runs away to Canada. It is not the safe haven he imagined, and he realizes that perhaps he was mistaken about many things. This unique and thought-provoking story shows what prejudice and indifference to suffering and wrongdoing can lead to. It imparts an understanding of the Holocaust and World War II without the explicitness present in other books on the subject.-Donna Rosenblum, Nassau Boces School Library System, NYCopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- Orca Book Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
The front window had been shattered by a huge rock that was now lying on the floor of the store. Father ran outside. I followed. A banner was hanging from the door...In large, red, hand-painted letters were the words: Germans go home.
Germans go home.
Meet the Author
Carol Matas is an internationally acclaimed author of over thirty-five novels for children and young adults. Her best-selling work, which includes three award-winning series, has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Taiwanese, Turkish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, French, Indonesian and Russian.
A graduate of the Actor's Lab, in London England, Carol first earned a B.A. (English) from The University of Western Ontario. Her teaching experience includes Artists in the School, Manitoba Arts Council;visiting professor at Bemidji State University, Minnesota; and a Creative Writing instructor, Continuing Education Division, The University of Winnipeg. Carol is an inspiring and passionate speaker who is frequently invited to address children and adults alike across North America.
Carol writes contemporary and historical fiction, as well as science fiction and fantasy. She first began writing historical fiction when her Danish husband told her stories about his parents' experiences fighting the Nazis in World War II. She has often written about Jewish themes, and is well known for her books concerning the Holocaust, writing Daniel's Story at the request of The United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Over the years, her knack for successfully infusing serious and thought-provoking issues into an action-driven format has kept readers of all ages engaged.
The list of awards for her books is long, and includes two Sydney Taylor awards, The Geoffrey Bilson award, a Silver Birch award, The Jewish Book Award, as well as the inclusion of her books on many honour lists, such as the ALA notable list, The New York Times Review notable list, The New York Public Library list for the Teen Age, and the Voya books in the middle, Best Book list. She has also been nominated for the Governor General Award twice.
More information is about Carol is available on her web site: http://www.carolmatas.com.
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