Frances Lincoln Children's Books
fp April 2006
from the book...
In 1939, the Nazis invaded Lodz, Poland, and imprisoned the Jewish population in a small part of the city. 270, 000 people were forced to live in the ghetto under impossible conditions.
By the end of the Second World War, only twelve children were among the survivors. This is the story of Sylvia Perlmutter, one of the twelve. It's the gripping story of hope and innocence shining through the horror of the Holocaust.
If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A
Told by Jennifer Roy, the niece of Sylvia Perlmutter, this novel in verse is a stirring account of a horrific period of time in our recent history.
The story starts in autumn 1939 when Syvia (now called Sylvia) is four and a half years old and times are not safe for Jews living in Lodz, Poland. By February 1940 Syvia and her family are relocated to a ghetto. Syvia notices the things happening around her such as the iron wires surrounding the ghetto and hears stories like the man who was dragged off and shot... Her older sister, Dora is forced to work in a factory as well as look after Syvia, Papa goes out to work each day, Mama works in a factory, and Syvia spends her times in neighbours' apartments.
By autumn 1941 another 20,000 people are moved into the ghetto, food is even scarcer and the weather is getting colder and colder. By the winter of 1942 the trains to the death camps start and all children are required to board the trains. When the soldiers come, Syvia is taken by her father to hide in the cemetery. Now Syvia must remain hidden; she is not allowed outside in daylight. Time goes by and Syvia turns nine. By the summer of 1944 the ghetto is being emptied; freight loads of people are being taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau...
This is a heart wrenching story of a family's struggle to stay together during the harshest of times. It is made all the more potent by the verse structure and direct impact of the words. Told in first person it has an emotional impact and is a powerful read.
Stephen, Canberra, Australia