It is 1941. Ben, his sister and parents are able to flee Germany for the United States with his father’s brother, Issac, as sponsor. But why didn’t his father listen to Ben’s grandmother when she begged him to flee much earlier? Now Ben’s grandparents, his beloved cousin Elizabeth and her family are unable to leave Germany and they soon stop hearing from them. After experiencing horrible anti-Semitism and beatings by former schoolmates in Germany, Ben cannot shake off desperate feelings of danger and insecurity, even in the United States. These increase when his only friend, a Japanese-American boy, and his family are sent away to an internment camp after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and Ben is being bullied by anti- Semitic American schoolmates who look like Nazis. Ben falls victim to fear, afraid that it is all happening again. This book tackles the important issue of prejudice within America during the war years. Another winner from the talented Matas, whose previous Holocaust themed novels have proven popularity among YA readers. Ages 12 +.
Marcia W. Posner, Ph.D., of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, is the library and program director. An author and playwright herself, she loves reviewing for JBW and reading all the other reviews and articles in this marvelous periodical.