I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.
This was a quick-paced novel that addressed the many issues that children faced during this time in history. It showed the love and the resignation that parents confronted as they realized that they no longer had control of their family’s circumstances as the war advanced on them. These parents knew that their best option was to have their children placed in another homes, away from them, as their chances of survival were greater if they were not seen as being in a Jewish community. What a sacrifice it would be, to relinquish your own children to someone else and never know if you would see them again, the love it would take to let them go. I felt a multitude of emotions as I read this novel, the urgency as Anna is told her new identity, the intensity as she rehearsed it over and over again and then the anxiety as she is rushed through the streets to her drop off. Her parents are excited for her yet there is fear, sadness creeps around the edges and the unknown clouds the air as they send her off on this new path of her life. So much is riding on this for her and yet, she is not sure of what lies before her or if she is even ready for it. She realizes it’s much better outside the ghetto with the many luxuries that are just there for the taking, but the individuals that she wants to share them with are not there and this saddens her. She’s finding it difficult to keep her old self hidden behind her new identity and she knows that a slip of the tongue and it could all be over. She finds herself in a Catholic orphanage and they have enough to get by. She’ll never forget who she was and the values her parents taught her. Some of the children are placed in other homes and the war rages on. I enjoyed how the story carried itself through many different situations that Anna became a part of, for she was not a stationary person and neither were the places that she was a part of. I did not particularly care for the ending. The ending I thought was drawn out and although it did not have a perfect red bow on it, it just didn’t feel right for how wonderful the rest of the story played out.