Along the Tracks

Tamar Bergman, Author, Michael Swirsky, Translator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (256p) ISBN 978-0-395-55328-2
Rarely is YA historical fiction this immediate and involving. Yankele, a Jewish boy in Lodz, is six years old when the Nazis invade Poland, and his parents take him and his sister on a weeks-long, dangerous trek into the Soviet Union--so vividly rendered that the reader can sense the hero's exhaustion, share his fear as bombs explode on the swarming route. The family finds safety from the Nazis if not a genuine haven: they suffer in a mining camp in the Urals for almost two years before Yankele's father is drafted to serve in the Russian army. As the war grows closer, Yankele's mother takes him and his sister on a refugee train bound for Kazakhstan. Then a catastrophe occurs that separates Yankele from the rest of his family. His ensuing odyssey leads him through the eastern Soviet republics, living among child gangs, in state orphanages or with kind strangers, and he is forced to develop hair-trigger reflexes. Carefully weaving historical details into this unforgettable adventure, Bergman, an Israeli who based this work on a true story, achieves a cinematic scope. Ages 11-14. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Prebound-Glued - 245 pages - 978-0-7807-5016-6
Prebound-Sewn - 245 pages - 978-0-606-08688-2
Paperback - 245 pages - 978-0-395-74513-7
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