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One More Border: The True Story of One Family's Escape from War-Torn Europe Paperback – October 16, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Working with Tanaka (On Board the Titanic), Kaplan delves into his father's childhood experiences for this combination family drama and history lesson. In 1939, Igor Kaplan and his younger sister, Nomi, leave their home in Memel, Lithuania, as their prescient parents keep one step ahead of the Nazis. In the Lithuanian capital, the now-legendary Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara gives Mr. Kaplan a visa for himself and the children. Mrs. Kaplan, who is Russian, needs separate exit and entrance visas; she somehow obtains the former just in time to join the family, already aboard the Trans-Siberian Express. After more dangerous journeys and 11th-hour deliverances, they finally reach Ontario, where the children's grandparents live. The Kaplans' saga, illustrated with attractive watercolors, is paralleled with archival photos and explanatory sidebars. For example, as the Kaplans flee Memel, photos on the facing page show Nazis goose-stepping and German soldiers marching through a burning Polish village; a three-paragraph caption defines WWII. While the explanatory apparatus will answer many of the general questions readers are likely to raise, some areas remain confusing (e.g., the contest between Nazis and Russians for control of Lithuania). The two-tier narrative can be distracting and deflects from the momentum of the Kaplans' narrow escapes; readers will have to know the background already before they can fully appreciate the desperate nature of the family's plight. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Feeling they are no longer safe in their town of Memel, a Lithuanian Jewish family undertakes a long and dangerous journey. Mr. Kaplan and his two children are issued visas by Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul whose story was told in Ken Mochizuki's Passage to Freedom (Lee & Low, 1997). Russian born Mrs. Kaplan needed to acquire a separate visa in Moscow. Most of the narrative centers around the experiences of Igor, the oldest child, as the family travels by the Trans-Siberian Express and by ship. They eventually make their way to eastern Canada where they are met by the children's grandparents, and they begin their lives over. The story is written somewhat melodramatically, but is not without merit. Information about World War II and the fate of the Jews who remained in Europe is provided in sidebars and news photos that interrupt the narrative flow. It is hard to determine which pictures are family snapshots and which ones are general news photos. The soft-pencil or pastel illustrations neither add nor detract from the presentation. Most of the words in the glossary can be understood in context.
Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 61 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books (October 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888996381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888996381
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 9.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,568,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In One More Border--escape from war-torn Europe, William Kaplan tells the story of his father, Igor's, escape from Europe during World War II. Igor Kaplan was a young boy when he and his family decided to leave their country for a safer place. With the help of the wonderful author, Shelley Tanaka, William Kaplan's story will intrigue readers. A few pages in the book even give detailed history of World War II. I would highly recommend this book for 9-12 year olds. Although the book isn't overly scary, children under eight may find the subject of World War II too intense, and people over 12 probably won't find the story exciting enough and may become easily bored.
If you enjoy this book, you'll probably love some of Shelley Tanaka's books!
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