Sent away from her Krakow home in April 1941, 16-year-old Chaya Lindner becomes an activist in the Jewish armed resistance movement Akiva by October 1942. With features and coloring that belie her ethnicity, as well as fluency in Polish and a smattering of German, she can pass as the Polish Catholic Helena Nowak, which makes her the perfect courier. Confident Chaya is dismayed when she is paired to work with seemingly timid Esther, who possesses “every possible look and mannerism to radiate her Jewishness” and who is to blame for a failed Akiva mission. As they travel from a ghetto in Krakow to one in Lodz, the young women witness horrific events and undergo harrowing experiences before arriving at their ultimate destination: the Warsaw Ghetto, where the action culminates in the historic uprising of April 1943. Suspense mounts continually as Chaya survives her ordeals, gaining strength and faith in her mission. The courage and self-sacrifice of many characters is inspiring, but the book is unapologetically grim and violent, like the events it so persuasively depicts, and may not suit readers at the younger end of its stated range. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency.(Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018 Release date: 08/01/2018 Genre: Children's
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