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Someone Named Eva Hardcover – July 16, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; 1 edition (July 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618535799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618535798
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5–8—When resistance fighters assassinated the highest ranking Nazi officer in Czechoslovakia, Hitler sought revenge on the small village of Lidice. All 173 men and teenage boys were executed while the women were sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Ten Lidice children, who exemplified Aryan traits, were selected for "Germanization." They were sent to Lebensborn training centers, forced to speak only German, given new names, and indoctrinated into the Nazi ideology. They were then adopted by German families. The rest of the children of Lidice were gassed. Based on extensive research and interviews with survivors, Wolf tells the heart-wrenching story of the fictional Milada, who is sent to a Lebensborn center and adopted by the commandant of Ravensbruck. Readers are quickly immersed into her character, gaining a painful understanding of her intense struggle to hold onto her true self and identity. Students who have read stories of Jewish persecution and survival during the Holocaust will be enlightened by this portrait of how Hitler's Final Solution affected these innocent children. This amazing, eye-opening story, masterfully written, is an essential part of World War II literature and belongs on the shelves of every library.—Rachel Kamin, Temple Israel Libraries & Media Center, West Bloomfield, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"This amazing, eye-opening story, masterfully written, is an essential part of World War II literature." School Library Journal, Starred

"Not only honest about lost family and culture but also about the heartbreaking parting with an adoptive mother and sister." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"This little-known side of the Nazi era will fascinate young readers.... An important addition to the Holocaust curriculum." Kirkus Reviews

"Noteworthy for its subject matter." Publishers Weekly

An informative author's note provides additional information about the Lebensborn program.
Horn Book

An informative author's note provides additional information about the Lebensborn program.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

More About the Author

Joan M. Wolf has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She is both a teacher and a writer and has published books for teachers and young adults. Her award winning first novel, Someone Named Eva, addresses a little known aspect of World War ll. When she isn't teaching or writing, she is walking one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota. You can visit her website at: www.joanmwolf.com

Customer Reviews

Before you do that, however, you must read this book first.
E. R. Bird
I highly recommend it and think anyone who needs a book should read thisone.
Renee
I have gifted this book twice to 11-year old girls, both of whom loved it.
Red Shoes Writing

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By K.L.H. on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like the Diary of Anne Frank and Number the Stars, the book is about events of the Holocaust. What makes it different from the two mentioned is that it's about a chapter of the Holocaust that is not widely known - the destruction of the town of Lidice. This was a small village that Hitler tried to literally wipe off the map. Wolf's book takes you there through the eyes of Milada, a little girl taken from her Czech family and "adopted" into a Nazi family. I couldn't put the book down, and the story left me wanting to learn more about the Lebensborn program and the families of Lidice. Though written for a young audience (the heavy subject matter is handled gently but by no means "fluffy")it's must read for anyone - adults included - wanting to know more about the Holocaust.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mcHaiku on September 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A child in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, Milada received a prized telescope for her eleventh birthday although no gift was expected. Her father instructed his daughter to always look for the North Star to find her way. It was a time of shortages & ration cards and being fearfully hemmed in by soldiers who demanded Nazi salutes, and yanked families apart in the night.

Milada was not a Jew but in a contrary way was DISadvantaged by her blond, Aryan appearance for which she was chosen by the Nazis to be schooled in the German language & customs. Only then was she deemed suitable for adoption into a Nazi family. German mothers 'earned points' and gained prestige in Hitler's regime by increasing their families.

Her new "mutter" and siblings gave her desperately needed affection which caused a literal tug-of-war with emotions because "Milada/Eva" realized the same woman is wife to the commandant of the feared adjacent 'death camp' from which come pervasive crematorium odors. This issue is not dealt with 'head on' but is no more ambiguous than some issues which make adolescence so difficult in contemporary society. Life always means confronting hard choices, doesn't it? And readers in middle grades may find it helpful to read about 'someone named Eva' who hung on to life for Freedom's sake.

Readers can ask whether Milada/Eva was in the end better off, because she survived the war whereas her closest Czech friend, Terezie did not; also, four out of five of her own family members were sent to work camps
and did not survive. We can be grateful to Joan M. Wolf for enlightening us about these hidden aspects of war.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jewish Book World Magazine on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Milada, a gentile girl living in Czechoslovakia in 1942, is turning eleven on her next birthday. When the Nazi's converge upon her town, she is separated from her family and taken to a Lebensborn center in Poland for girls who have been deemed candidates to become perfect Aryans. Milada, who is not Jewish, resents her blond hair and blue eyes, knowing these are the reason she is chosen. Upon reaching the Nazi center, Milada's name is changed to "Eva" and she and the other girls are forced to speak German. During her stay at the center, "Eva" makes a friend, but also sees girls who fall under the spell of the Nazi brainwashing. She must summon all of her emotional strength to remember her real name and family. "Eva" secretly wears a pin given to her by her Grandmother with the warning "Remember who you are. Always." This book shows an aspect of the Nazi regime that is not commonly portrayed in children's literature. It is a chilling account of the psychological control the Nazi's had over their youngest victims. Milada has never met a Jewish person, so the Jewish content is limited to sympathetic references to the impact of the Nazi regime on the Jewish community. Someone Named Eva reveals evil through the innocence of a child's eyes. This is not a Jewish Holocaust story, but would make a formidable addition to any Holocaust collection. For ages 10 and up.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Bryan on August 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read Someone Named Eva with my eleven year old daughter. She finished it first and couldn't wait for me to reach the end because she wanted someone to discuss it with. It is a book that you will want to discuss. Eva is taken from her family, and forced to become a perfect Aryan girl who must salute Hitler and condemn Jews and others that do not fit the Nazi mold of perfection. Throughout her ordeal, she remembers her family and her true self, sometime just barely, but she holds on to it. The book reveals just how hard it is to stay true to yourself and your loved ones when your home, your language, and your values are stripped away. Eva was chosen because she had the "correct measurements, " and was blue eyed and blond. How arbitrary our ways of judging people are from the outside in instead of the inside out is one of the themes in the book my daughter and I discussed. The story is beautifully told. Eva's understanding of the stars and the constellations acts as a sort of outer tapestry that holds the story together; from time to time she remembers learning about the stars from her loving grandmother, and in doing that, she remembers who she really and truly is.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Don't blink or you'll miss it. The arrival of a noteworthy work of historical fiction for kids tends to work one of two ways. Either the marketing machine behind the book hits bookstores and libraries full-force, cramming said book down everyone's throats until they yield and make it a bestseller/award winner... or nothing happens at all. The book slips onto shelves without so much as a squeak, never insisting that anyone go out of their way to find it. "Someone Named Eva" belongs firmly in the latter camp. It's small and subtle and extraordinarily good. The kind of WWII children's fiction other authors should look to emulate, given the chance.

Eleven-year-old Milada remembers the night. The night when there was pounding on the door and Nazis in her Czechoslovakian home. The night when her grandmother pressed a garnet pin into her hand and told her to never forget who she was. But since that time Milada had a difficult time keeping that promise. Having been forcibly removed from her family and taken to a bizarre Nazi-run girl's school, Milada quickly learns the reason for her presence in the Lebensborn center; her shiny golden hair and bright blue eyes. Renamed Eva, Milada is part of a system intent upon turning her into a "good" German citizen. The kind of place where she can be taught the evils of the Jews, the glory of Hitler, and the joys of being adopted into a real German family's home. Based on events following the destruction of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, author Joan Wolf tells of the real Lebensborn center in Poland, the crimes it committed against an untold number of girls during WWII, and what it takes to stay true to your heritage.

Did you notice something? Read the summary again. That's right.
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