|They went left|
Author: Hesse, Monica
Zofia, a teenage Holocaust survivor, travels across post-war Europe as she searches for her younger brother and seeks to rebuild her shattered life.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 508897
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2020 *Starred Review* Liberated from a German concentration camp, 18-year-old Zofia feels she is broken by the horrors of the war, that her mind has become soft, for she is easily confused and her memory is faulty. One thing she cannot forget, however, is her younger brother, Abek, from whom she was separated by the war. Now she's determined to find him, if he survived, so they can live their lives fully, A to Z. Her search takes her to Foehrenwald, a displaced persons camp in Germany. There she meets a young man named Josef, and the two fall in love. But what of Abek? Will some miracle reunite the siblings? And will Zofia find a happy ending with Josef, as in the stories she used to tell Abek? In her third novel set in the WWII period, Hesse again proves to be a master of verisimilitude, bringing the realities of existence in the immediate postwar period to visceral life through painstaking detail. Her beautifully realized, highly empathetic characters come to life, too, in the pages of this superbly crafted novel, the tone and sensibility of which perfectly match the material. Like real life, there is heartbreaking sadness here but also hope that life, finally, will be whole and fine, A to Z. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 9 Up—A heartbreaking and heartwarming story of survival, loss, and renewal. The year is 1945, and Zofia finds herself in a hospital after being liberated from the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Poland. Suffering from memory loss in a hospital with other survivors, Zofia relies on the kindness of Dima, a Russian soldier, to get home and find her little brother, Abek. However, the home Zofia returns to is not one she recognizes. She quickly discovers that she needs to continue her search for Abek elsewhere. Alone, Zofia travels across borders to locate her brother; she doesn't know what happened to him or where he ended up, but she will not give up hope that he is alive and looking for her. This book starts where many World War II fiction ends: liberation. Readers travel with Zofia as she struggles to piece her life back together and discover what a family looks like now. Hesse's meticulous research of this moment in history creates an overwhelming sense of time and place. She intertwines historical fact with masterful storytelling that allows readers to embrace the characters and relate to them without forgetting the heaviness of the time period. VERDICT Highly recommended as a first purchase for both public and school libraries. Sure to please a variety of readers; those interested in historical fiction, romance, and mystery will not be able to put this book down.—Maryjean Riou, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.