What World Is Left

Monique Polak, Author . Orca $12.95 (215p) ISBN 978-1-55143-847-4

Anneke Van Raalte is 14 when the Germans deport her family from Holland and send them to Czechoslovakia—because they are Jewish. Despite constant hunger, severe crowding and other deprivations, Anneke, the narrator, is repeatedly told how lucky she is to be at the concentration camp Theresienstadt, which lacks gas chambers. Her father, formerly an illustrator for a Dutch newspaper, occupies an important position in the camp and can protect the family from the worst fate, being sent on a transport “east” (she eventually learns a transport almost invariably means death). But Anneke wonders at the justness of her father's behavior, particularly when he participates in the commandant's “embellishment” program, designed to trick the Danish Red Cross when it comes for an inspection—and, when that plan succeeds, to make a propaganda film. Polak (Scarred ) bases Anneke's experiences on those of her mother's; while convincing generally, her writing shies from the extremities of camp existence. What it does offer is a candid look at a father's presumed collusion, a perspective rarely seen in YA literature about the Holocaust. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 232 pages - 978-1-55469-776-2
Open Ebook - 232 pages - 978-1-55143-849-8
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