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My Family for the War Hardcover – February 16, 2012
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Kids' Indie Next List, Spring 2012 — Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers
* "With the personal Kindertransport history, the intense drama about family, faith, guilt, love, and loyalty in wartime makes this an important addition to the Holocaust curriculum." — Booklist, starred review
* "Events and facts are expertly woven into the girl's emotional growth, and changing relationships . . . provide a rich exploration of identity and self. With a compelling main character and taut and insightful story line, this novel is sure to find no shortage of readers, and it adds a valuable perspective to collections of World War II fiction." — School Library Journal, starred review
"[An] engaging and often moving coming-of-age story. A poignant, thoughtful work." — Kirkus
"This multilayered story [which] cogently explores themes of motherhood and adoptive families is gracefully portrayed." — Publishers Weekly
"My Family for the War is a must-have for young adults. The novel is simultaneously beautiful, touching, and heart wrenching." — VOYA
"This is a solid addition to Holocaust collections, life on the home front during the war, and for discussions of what is a family." — Library Media Connection review
About the Author
Tammi Reichel is an instructor of German at the University of Richmond and lives with her family in Virginia.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Pre-order the official script book today. Kindle | Hardcover
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Top Customer Reviews
When the war comes to England in 1940, Ziska, now renamed Frances, experiences things such as evacuation to the countryside, rationing, bombing raids, and loved ones at war. Along the way, she comes to terms with the very real possibility of never seeing her blood family again, and grows closer and closer to the Shepards as the family she's grown up with. She even grows closer to her foster mother Amanda than she was with her own mother, Mamu. As the war draws to an end, Frances has mixed feelings over reuniting with any potential surviving members of her family and having to leave the family and community she's grown to know and love. She's become more Jewishly observant over the years, a far cry from her early years in Germany, and has also grown to feel like a real British girl, no longer just a refugee.Read more ›
I had expected a straightforward story, perhaps with a feel good "happily united" ending, but Voorhoeve didn't take that route. Ziska/Frances does a few things she isn't overly proud of, and the adults aren't perfect either. Her adoptive family is loving, and Frances matures under their care, torn between the new family and friends she comes to love, and her parents and dear Bekka, left behind to an unknown fate. The book is not in any way a "downer" but neither does it take the easy narrative for Ziska/Frances. Suggest to intelligent readers, grades 8 and up.
Note: MY FAMILY FOR THE WAR won the ALA's Batchelder Award, awarded to the most outstanding children's book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: purchased for the library
Franziska, aged about 11, doesn't even know she's Jewish - her parents and grandparents, even, were all Christian. This doesn't matter to the Nazis - her father is beaten, the family is terrorized, and her mother "abandons" her by getting Ziska put on one of the last kindertransport trains to leave the country.
In London, she walks into her foster home, an Orthodox Jewish family, wearing a cross necklace. This is the beginning of much culture shock, as Frances slowly comes to adjust to, even love, her new family. While still worried about her family of origin, she and her new family are not safe either, as London becomes a major bombing target. Eventually Frances is uprooted yet again, sent to the countryside with other London children, to a foster home with a very different atmosphere.
Ziska/Frances is a compelling, far from perfect character, but she loves, and she survives, not without some grief and laughter along the way. I highly recommend this book, for readers of all ages.
Ziska also endures a savage attack by bullies, but not without giving a little back, then later she watches in horror as the Nazis kick in her family's door, beat her father bloody, and try to apprehend her. She escapes by jumping from her window into the tree.
And that's only the beginning. I will not give away more of the plot, except to echo other reviewers who mentioned that the story does not settle for easy answers or pat, happy endings. That said, the book's undercurrent of hope, and Ziska's own unbreakable spirit, will have readers cheering for her.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful, heart -warming book. Set during the time of WWII, it is an accurate depiction of the situation of many Jews at the time. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Teri L. Sowby
Excellent book. Very well written. Moves along very briskly. Learned much from reading it. Very poignant story. All too true.Published 21 months ago by Nathan Abromson
I do not normally write reviews on Amazon, but I see this book has very few reviews. I read a variety of fiction but I always seem to come back to WWII-era fiction. Read morePublished 21 months ago by AMH
I have read many books regarding the kindertransports and I have also read many holocaust survivor biographies. Read morePublished 23 months ago by theresca a robins
Really brought to life what Jews went thru during the war and how emotional a time it was. Great readPublished on December 30, 2013 by Mrs. Dow
I loved this book. My favorite books to read are from this time period and this book filled the bill. it was a book club pick and we all loved it.Published on November 13, 2012 by Selma Slossburg