cover image My Brother’s Shadow

My Brother’s Shadow

Monika Schröder. FSG/Foster, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-35122-9

“Nothing is going to be the way it used to be.” It’s 1918 in Berlin, and in four years’ time 16-year-old Moritz Schmidt has lost his father to the war and his baby sister to illness. Moritz feels increasingly distant from his mother and older sister, both active in the socialist revolution against the Kaiser, as well as his older brother, Hans. While his activist mother hides from the police, who are seeking to arrest her for treason, Moritz gets a job at the daily newspaper, gradually writing more articles for his mentor, Herr Goldman, while dreaming up ways to find food and money for his family. When Hans returns from war an injured and embittered radical, and Moritz falls for a socialist Jewish girl, he cannot reconcile his feelings: Is the revolution a salvation or a betrayal? In this nuanced and realistic work of historical fiction, Schröder (Saraswati’s Way) immerses readers in her setting with meticulous details and dynamic characters that contribute to a palpable sense of tension. Moritz’s intimate narration captures the conflicts, divided loyalties, and everyday horrors of the period. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)