cover image Deep Sea

Deep Sea

Annika Thor, trans. from the Swedish by Linda Schenck. Delacorte, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-74385-3

In the third installment in a series about a Jewish girl sent with her sister to live with Swedish families during WWII (following A Faraway Island and The Lily Pond), Stephie, now nearly 16, is living in a city with her best friend's big family, finishing grammar school. But on some weekends, and when summer comes, she heads back to the remote island home of her well-meaning but distant foster parents. In both places, Stephie worries%E2%80%94she wants to go to high school, but must persuade (and compromise with) the overextended relief committee supporting her. Meanwhile, her younger sister, Nellie, feels abandoned by their parents and is acting out, and a letter Stephie sends to her mother, who is in an Austrian concentration camp, is returned undelivered. This novel about coming of age during a complicated, tragic time in history is both delicate and poignant, as when Stephie and Nellie sit on the dock, remembering a lullaby their mother sang. Thor's novel capably demonstrates the loneliness, powerlessness, and prejudice Stephie faces, as well as her growing inner strength. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. (Jan.)