Thursday, January 24, 2013

To hope and back by Kathy Kacer

I almost did not want to read this book.  It caught my eye because it had been placed in the Fiction section of our library when it really belongs in Non Fiction. I did not know anything about this ship the St Louis which traveled from Germany just prior to World War II expecting to take over 900 passengers to the safety of Cuba but instead being turned away on arrival because of the power of the German propaganda campaign against the Jews.

Lisa and Sol are two real children who traveled on this voyage with their parents.  The two never meet because Lisa is travelling first class and Sol is in third.  I confess I did jump to the end just to be sure they both survived this frightening voyage which is described in alternating chapters between Lisa, Sol and the Captain of the ship - a man of great compassion and heroism.

The quote below will take you to a full description of the plot.

This is a book for senior students. It links well with some other books we explore towards the end of the year - Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti, Let the celebrations begin by Margaret Wild and The story of Anne Frank retold by Josephine Poole.

 ... this is a tragic story about an historical event that deserves to be told, and which should provoke thoughtful discussion about a difficult subject

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