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Book of the Month

FROM SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Gr 6 Up-This debut historical novel is a brilliantly rendered memorial to survivors of the Holocaust. Masih tells the story of Hanna Slivka, a teenage girl living in a small integrated community in Ukraine in 1941. The story begins before the Germans have invaded her small town, but not before the hatred of Hanna's heritage is first felt. From the very beginning, Hanna and her siblings are called ugly names by other children in the village, and asthe German Army continues its campaign of hatred against the Jews, Hanna must see and hear things that no child ever should. Her family is forced to endure many injustices and humiliations once the Germans arrive and then it is too late for them to evacuate.Eventually, townspeople start to turn on one another for food and profit, and Hanna's family is forced to flee their home to the forest and caves in an attempt to survive. Although the topic of the Holocaust is now part of world history curriculum, students will find Masih's novel compelling. The story of the human spirit is richly embedded in the lives of a family trying desperately to not just stay alive but to stay together and to retain their faith. VERDICT A strong choice for young adult shelves.-Christina Paolozzi, Bonaire Elementary School, GA 

"Poetic and vivid. To strong effect, the loveliness of Hanna's thoughts counters the ever-present dangers of what she faces." --Foreword Reviews, Editor's Pick  

"A carefully researched, often moving narrative of one family's struggle for survival." --Kirkus Reviews  

"The story . . . is told effectively and movingly. . . . This is a well written and highly recommended selection." --Jewish Book Council