Friday, 5 November 2010

What If They Find Us? by Kathy Clarke

2010, Scholastic
218 pages, Paperback
Review copy

True story, Children's

Nazi occupied Hungary, life in hiding, convent life, friendship, death, uncertainty, families, some real danger, many tissues needed.

Summary from Scholastic
Kathy Clarke tells the true story of two young Jewish girls: Susan and Vera, who in German-occupied Hungary suddenly find themselves sent to a convent to be kept "safe" from the Nazis. Here they discover the meaning of humanity as the nuns valiantly risk their lives every day to save 120 Jewish children.

Nayuleska's thoughts
This book shows that non-fiction doesn't always mean a reference book. Books telling an account of what happened, like this one, is a story. It is more horrifying because the events are true (a few names/situations were changed a little). I've read Anne Frank's diary, I've read about those living in concentration camps. I had never read about children being hidden by nuns. This is an emotional book. From the start I knew there would be a lot of tears, I didn't realise how many. At every sweet moment (there are some), I was smiling, but wanting to cry because I knew it wouldn't last, and that some tragedy would strike the sisters. The story focuses more on Susan, since she is the eldest and the one who understands the most. The fear and uncertainty of having to leave her family is clear, but the nuns are such lovely people that she soon fits into life at the convent - so much so she doesn't want to leave. She does eventually, but only after personal tragedy.

Final conclusion
This is a book that'll make you laugh and cry. It's a reminder of what people suffered in the past, as well as what people suffer now in some areas of the world. The nuns provided these girls hope, and saved their lives.

If you like this, try Auslander by Paul Dowswell

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