Plot: Svvia was 4 and a half years old when World War II began and the Germans invaded Lodz, Poland, and herded all of the Jewish residents into a ghetto, and erected a barbed-wire fence around it. Inside were 270,000 people. When World War II ended and the Russians liberated the 800 surviving Jews, Svvia was 10 years old and one of 12 children living in the ghetto. This book is her story, as told to her young niece.
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Review: This book, which my 8 and a half year-old son brought home from his school library, has caused me great angst. The book is gripping, haunting, and beautiful as young Svvia finds her voice and recounts her years in the Lodz Ghetto, as hundreds of thousands of residents perish at the camp or by the trainload as they are transported away. The sheer grit and intelligence of Svvia’s father is astounding. I could not put this book down, and I could not get it out of my brain. Is this book appropriate for an 8-year-old boy who is half Jewish and is only just learning about the Shoah? I truly do not know. This book changed me, it will surely change him. Ultimately, this book is an incredibly uplifting story about one family’s triumph over evil.