I’m Not Going Back: Wartime Mem­oir of a Child Evacuee

Kit­ty Wintrob
  • Review
By – August 30, 2011
What was life like for Kit­ty, a ten year-old Jew­ish Lon­don­er dur­ing the ear­ly months of WWll? Young Kit­ty authors this mem­oir that recounts the range of expe­ri­ences of the evac­u­at­ed chil­dren. In some instances the fos­ter fam­i­lies were under­stand­ing and sup­port­ive, while in oth­er homes the chil­dren were treat­ed as mere ser­vants. Kit­ty recounts life in a coun­try vil­lage amongst unwel­com­ing local chil­dren and under the thumb of a dour and cold taskmas­ter. She is a spir­it­ed, deter­mined young­ster whose mind is set upon return­ing to Lon­don. After all, the antic­i­pat­ed bomb­ing has not yet mate­ri­al­ized and she wants to go home. The sto­ry leaves lit­tle doubt that Kit­ty pre­sent­ed a chal­lenge to the adults in her life. More uncer­tain are ques­tions posed in her account: what will hap­pen when the Blitz begins? Will Kit­ty remain in the coun­try­side and adjust to her sit­u­a­tion or will she be allowed to remain in Lon­don? Although her atti­tude and actions are irri­tat­ing at times, Kit­ty draws the read­er into her emo­tions and respons­es to sit­u­a­tions. She is a very strong engag­ing char­ac­ter, even at her young age. The style and lan­guage of the mem­oir are sim­ple enough for a nine year-old, but still appro­pri­ate for a 12 or 13 year-old reader.
Nao­mi Kramer is a retired read­ing con­sul­tant teacher who devel­oped cur­ricu­lum for using lit­er­a­ture to edu­cate chil­dren and adults in the his­to­ry of the Holo­caust. She is a docent and edu­ca­tor at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter of Nas­sau County.

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