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Product Description

Two Jewish sisters from Vienna, eight-year-old Nellie and twelve-year-old Stephie Steiner, are sent to Sweden without their parents to escape the Nazis. Stephie and Nellie find themselves living for years with separate host families. Nellie quickly takes up Swedish and integrates into her new family. But Stephie finds herself stranded on an island with a harsh and icy mother. As the war stretches on, the two young girls begin to wonder if their family will ever come together again. (Ages: 8-12).

Editorial Reviews

At the onset of World War II, Jewish Stephanie and her younger sister, Nellie, are sent to a Swedish island to live with separate host families while they await their parents' visas to America. Even after the turmoil of Vienna, Stephie struggles with separation from her sister and living with strict Aunt Marta in lonely isolation, while Nellie quickly finds friends and comfort. As time passes and her Swedish improves, Stephie learns more about why her circumstances are more difficult than Nellie's. While the parents encounter multiple barriers to reuniting the family, some small adjustments are made in the girls' daily lives to ease their situation. The increasing involvement of Sweden in the war provides a commonality between the girls and the villagers, allowing Stephie to look outside her pain to find an inner strength and determination that she never knew she had. Straightforwardly told in the present tense and easier for tender hearts than the brutal stories of concentration camps, this still conveys the reality of war and the suffering of those displaced by it. (Historical fiction. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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