Susan Kantor was a senior writer/editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a children’s book editor, and a past judge for the National Jewish Book Awards in the illustrated children’s book category. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Museum in New York City, where she leads public and private tours.
I Will Come Back For You: A Family in Hiding During World War II
When Nonna’s granddaughter asks her why she never removes her gold charm bracelet, Nonna says it’s because the charms tell the story of her childhood. Beginning with the tiny donkey charm, Nonna explains the meaning of each one. Before Italy joined the side of the Germans in World War II, Nonna, her brother Roberto, and their parents had a happy life in Rome. But everything changed after Papa and other foreign-born Jews were ordered to leave their families and move to a village in the mountains. Now there were no more visits to the park for donkey rides, puppet shows and ice cream; no more listening to Papa sing and play the piano after dinner. For a while, the family visits Papa on weekends but when he learns that the German would soon send all the Jewish men to a concentration camp, he slips away to join the partisans. When the police threaten to take Mamma in his place, she also goes into hiding, leaving Nonna and Roberto in the care of a kind family. The children are soon smuggled out of the village and brought to Mamma who is working on a farm high up in the mountains. No one there suspects they are Jews. When the war is over, Mamma learns that Papa has been killed by Nazi soldier and she decides they will start a new life in America. The folk-art illustrations, painted by the author, evoke the time and place. A glossary, afterword and original black and white family photographs used for the end sheets provide more details about this true story. Recommended for ages 5 – 9.
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