Chil­dren’s

Some­one Named Eva

Joan M. Wolf
  • Review
By – April 2, 2012
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 régime 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 régime 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.
Bar­bara Bietz is a free­lance writer and children’s book review­er. She is cur­rent­ly a mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee. Bar­bara is the author of the mid­dle grade book, Like a Mac­cabee. She has a blog ded­i­cat­ed to Jew­ish books for chil­dren at www​.Bar​baraB​Book​Blog​.Blogspot​.com.

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