September 12, 2013
Who is Rose Rabinowitz? The young war orphan lives in Canada now, and she’s trying to start over with a new family and new friends. But half of her is still Rozia, still back in Poland with her real family, the family she lost in the long, terrible years of World War II. Rose can’t bring herself to talk about it at all, but when her foster father gives her a blank diary, writing about her past seems to help. The nar- rative moves back and forth between Rose’s nightmarish memories and her attempt to adjust to life in Canada. The author does a nice job of conveying the horror of the war and the significant difficulties of beginning anew without glossing over the reality. The narrative is told simply and movingly, and the characters are believable and well-drawn. Appropriately for the young reading audience, in spite of the weighty subject matter, readers are left feeling hopeful for the resilient Rose. Appended are: a historical note, black and white pictures of the Holocaust, a reprint of a Canadian newspaper which carried the story about the orphans arriving in Canada, a facsimile of a document “in-lieu of passport” as the orphans had no identity papers, and a map of 1944 Poland. Recommended for ages 9 – 14.