This book is the second in a series. The first book is titled Faraway Island. The first book won the Batchelder award in 2010 and this book took a Batchelder Honors award this year. I did not read the first book and I still enjoyed this one.
Stephie and her sister have been evacuated from Vienna because of the Nazis and sent to live with families in Sweden. They are Jewish and their parents are still in Vienna but are trying to leave. The girls have been separated because there wasn’t a family able to take them both. Stephie has been awarded a scholarship and at thirteen is going to continue her education at a school in Goteburg. She has to cross from her island on the ferry and she will be living with a family in the city.
I really liked Stephie. She was a loving and responsible big sister, a good student and a good friend. She is attached to her adoptive family and respects their opinions. Life is really hard for her though. She has to handle a lot of situations, some of them very upsetting and frightening, some of them confusing, at a time when she is growing up and experiencing her first love and at a time when the world is engulfed in war and prejudice. There are two more books I believe planned for the series.
I recommend this book for girls in grades 5 through 8 who like historical fiction and particularly for girls who like books about the Holocaust.
Posted by: Fran