After the death of her father in World War I, Lena finds herself a German and a Jew in an unforgiving country. Her mother says conditions will improve but Lena suspects this belief is not only wrong it's dangerous. "Exquisitely Rendered" -The Horn Book "A moving story, exquisitely told a novel with the ring of authenticity as well as artistry." -The Contra Costa Times "The magic of this book lies in the remarkable writing style of the author whose depiction of time and place is so vivid that you walk the streets and recognize the people. A moving, beautifully written account of a little-known time". -Children's Literature
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Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning children's book author. Her novel, The Circle maker was hailed by Publishers Weekly as 'atmospheric and suspenseful.' She has twice won the Sydney Taylor Award-for When I Left My Village and The Peddler's Gift. Her latest book is Curious Creatures: A Fantastic Bestiary of Little-Known Animals..From Kirkus Reviews:
Schur (When I Left My Village, 1996, etc.) draws on family history for this ominous tale of German and Polish Jews facing rising tides of anti-Semitism in the years before Hitler's rise. In the wake of her father's death at Verdun, young Lena Katz and her mother run a successful shoe store in Ledniezno, once a town in Germany, now part of a reconstituted Poland. Being both German and Jewish, they and their friends come under increasing attacks as the years go by--a time in which Heine's poems become attributed to ``anonymous'' in new editions of Lena's textbooks, newspaper and government antagonism toward Jewish businesses becomes more open, and local support for the Nazis grows. Lena's mother refuses to leave Poland, promising better times ahead and angrily rejecting the Zionism of Lena's heartthrob, Janusz. Spanning the years between 1917 to 1932, the plot is episodic and slow to develop; Lena's innocence in the face of all she sees and hears is artificially prolonged, while the ending, in which Lena at first refuses and then decides to accompany Janusz to Palestine, passes without even a parting scene with her mother. A brief afterword encapsulates the Holocaust and the foundation of Israel. The novel offers readers a moving glimpse of how public opinion set the stage for genocide, although that purpose occasionally engulfs the storyline and characters. (Fiction. 11-13) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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