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Author: Giff, Patricia Reilly
In August 1939 Genevieve makes an impulsive decision not to get on a train to take her to a boat back to New York and must spend the duration of World War II with her grandmother in a small village in Alsace, France, where she becomes involved with the French resistance.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 189823
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 75164
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/17)
School Library Journal (04/01/17)
Booklist (+) (03/15/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/04/17)
The Hornbook (00/05/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2017 *Starred Review* Giff explored WWII on the home front in Lily’s Crossing (1997), Willow Run (2005), and Gingersnap (2014), and her latest places an American girl in the crucible of war-torn Europe. After spending the summer of 1939 in Alsace with Mémé, her stern grandmother, 13-year-old Genevieve intends to return to America before the Germans invade France. Instead, for reasons she doesn’t entirely understand, she decides to stay and help Mémé on her farm. German soldiers occupy the area, deporting Jewish residents and housing an officer in Mémé’s farmhouse. Genevieve and her grandmother hide their food, their family treasures, and, later, their friend Rémy, a boy from the village who is hunted by the Nazis. Resistance is not a new idea to the people of Alsace, and soon it becomes a way of life for Genevieve as well. Giff accomplishes a great deal in this engaging chapter book: the vivid picture of life in occupied Alsace, the convincing portrayal of a girl growing up quickly in difficult times, and the gradual replacement of Genevieve’s antipathy for her grandmother with respect and love. More accessible to middle-grade children than most novels set in Europe during the period, this novel is full of hardship, peril, and quiet heroism. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 Gr 4–6—It's 1939. Genevieve and her brother are spending the summer on their grandmother's farm in Alsace, France, near the German border on the eve of World War II. It's Genevieve's first time meeting her grandmother, whom she finds difficult. It's a precarious time to be in France, with the prospect of war looming. To further complicate things, Genevieve has a ticket on what is said to be the last boat leaving for the United States. Despite her reservations about her grandmother, she impulsively decides to stay with her, without realizing what her life will become. Shortly afterward, German soldiers occupy the area. Everyone must go by German names and speak German, and Genevieve and her family are forced to house a Nazi soldier. The upcoming years are a transformative time for both Genevieve and her grandmother as they struggle to survive and help others throughout the war. This companion to Lily's Crossing is best suited for strong readers. Orienting to the politically charged setting and understanding the convoluted set of circumstances that have placed Genevieve in the middle of a war make the first section of the novel a little overwhelming. By the second half, the book becomes more plot-focused and easier to follow. The Nazi occupation and looming uncertainty about who can be trusted result in a suspenseful read. The narrative spans the whole length of the war, and Giff skillfully takes Genevieve from an impulsive 13-year-old to a thoughtful and compassionate young woman; there is crossover appeal to a YA audience. A basic familiarity with the Second World War and with the Alsace region, or some research while reading, will deepen children's comprehension of the work. VERDICT A well-crafted look at how World War II impacted civilians, with great potential for classroom use.—Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Library, OR - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.