Based on a true story, this book follows Jewish children who travel to the Lake District in the U.K. directly after being freed from a concentration camp. We meet Yossi in the middle of his journey. His simple yet detailed descriptions of the start of the war with the German planes flying overhead, transports the reader to that moment in time. Yossi’s positive and kind nature encourages the reader to root for his happiness. Although told through third person, Yossi’s nature shines through. His is a voice that will stay with the reader a long time after the book is finished.
It is obvious that the boys still carry trauma from their time in the concentration camp. The pushing for food on the first morning, the fear of being alone in their rooms the first night are powerful images. The author has skilfully blended fact and fiction in order to make the story appealing to young people all the while teaching them about the horrors of war and concentration camps. The boys’ resilience is a testament to their friendship and being each other’s chosen family.
This is a great book for reluctant readers or those interested in historical fiction but find novels daunting. Perfect for young teens interested in the history of World War II. The short chapters will give the reader a sense of achievement upon completing each one, and hopefully will spur them on to read the next. A book that is full of heart and hope. Young Adult