Sonia Levitin creates a very realistic account of German occupied Denmark during World War II perhaps drawing on the fact that as a child she escaped Nazi Germany. The story follows several characters, some Jewish, some not, and some Nazi sympathizers or soldiers themselves. While a piece of historical fiction this book is also multi-genre- it consists of narrative writing, diary entries, and letters. I feel that this story does a great job of showing how the German occupation affected average citizens. This novel shows great examples of how every day people can make a big difference in other people’s lives. This novel would be a great addition to a unit on the Holocaust in a history class, or just used as a novel study in a language arts class. I think it is especially interesting because it is not set in Germany like most of the books written about the Holocaust. This book could be used in classes from 7th to 10th grade, and because it follows characters of both genders will be able to identify with this book.
One of my favorite quotes that I think Levitin embodies in this novel:
“I want to focus not on the evil, but on the goodness that exists in this world.” page 285
Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
Scholastic Book Club