Author: Cerrito, Angela
A nine-year-old Jewish girl, helped by Irena Sendler and the Zegota organization, is smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto, given a new identity, and sent to live in the countryside for the duration of World War II.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 176885
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 66712
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 3–6—Nine-year-old Anna Bauman has lived in the Warsaw ghetto since World War II began. Her life is torn apart when she is smuggled away and made to pose as a Catholic orphan named Anna Karwolska. She lives in an orphanage until she is taken in by a kindhearted family who help to print a secret newspaper. Throughout all these changes, Anna is troubled by the loss of her Jewish identity. But she realizes that in order to survive, she must be "the best liar in the world." An author's note explains that Anna's tale is based on the true stories of the children smuggled out of Warsaw by Polish spy Irena Sendler, who is renamed Jolanta in this book. The pace is quick enough to cover three years, but there's still room for plenty of dialogue and memorable metaphors. When Anna learns her new name, she says, "The words are heavy and far away, like a stone thrown so far out into the lake that it is impossible to hear the splash." Anna's present-tense narrative voice is vivid, and readers will connect with her from the start. From the moment she recommends her friends for scarce vaccinations to her inquiries about a baby she helped rescue years ago, she demonstrates her loyalty. Fans of Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (HMH, 1989) or Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's The War that Saved My Life (Dial, 2015) are likely to enjoy reading this book next. VERDICT A suspenseful and informative choice for historical fiction fans.—Magdalena Teske, Naperville Public Library, IL - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2015 Cerrito’s second novel is inspired by the true story of Irena Sendler, who rescued children from the Warsaw ghetto during WWII. Being given a new name—Anna Karwolska—isn’t the biggest change nine-year-old Anna Bauman has had to endure after living crammed into a ghetto with other Jewish families, attending a secret school, and surviving off little food. She has just memorized her new identity when she is whisked away by Sendler and sent to an orphanage before being placed with a family in the countryside, where she remains until the war’s end. Cerrito succeeds particularly in distilling the WWII experience from a child’s point of view: the horrors are slightly muted because they are all Anna’s ever known. Though Cerrito’s prose sometimes feels uneven, the short chapters keep the pace moving along nicely. Readers yearning for Anna’s postwar reunion with her family will be faced with the same harsh reality as Anna: precious little of her family survives. Back matter provides further context for the real story of Sendler, whose bravery in the face of danger is inspiring. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.