cover image Kindertransport


Olga Levy Drucker. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (146pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1711-3

Drucker's riveting memoir begins where most stories of survival during the Holocaust end: a devoted Jewish mother finds a spot for her young daughter in a program that brings children out of Germany to safety in England in the spring of 1939. Only 11 at the time, Drucker had been told that her parents would join her within two weeks; six years would pass before their reunion. In the meantime, she lived with a series of families and was expected to be grateful for her good fortune. With both honesty and humor, the author recalls her bewilderment and her struggles to adjust: once indulged, she feels forlorn when a wealthy but reluctant benefactress lavishes attention on her own daughter; when her parents inform her that they have secured visas to the U.S., she is of course relieved, but also furious that they did not come to her. She becomes so good at burying her emotions that when a piano teacher tells her to play with ``feeling,'' she is certain she has none. Conveying these experiences, Drucker maintains an unusually broad perspective, placing her own tribulations in historical context but according them respect. Memorable and moving. Ages 10-13. (Nov.)