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.
He just doesn’t understand and I felt frustrated for him because no one explained it to him. Hendrik was young yes, but he deserved to know as his world was changing right before him and it would never be the same. His father thought he was doing the right thing by keeping everything from him but in the long run, Hendrik had to learn it on his own. This book had me; I devoured it and I loved every minute of it. Hendrik was fighting his way through this novel but my emotions captured more, as each of the characters stories came into play and I was battling a war on many fronts.
Hendrik can’t see his extended family. His father took his mother and him away to keep them safe as word that the Nazi’s were soon arriving. Leaving his previous life, his extended family and his best friend behind, Hendrik has secretly now returned to see his aunt. Hendrik wants to see his family again and learn about his heritage. He never realized the harsh conditions that they are now living in vs. the conditions that he now lives in on the other side of the wall. Vowing to return soon, Hendrik begins to leave but is met by a member of the Arrow Cross. This sergeant is his best friend’s father who knows that Hendrik is a Jew and immediately arrests him. The tension in the novel rises as there is no turning back now. A disagreement between Hendrik and his best friend who was there with his father emerges, as the drama of Hendrik’s arrests plays out. Hendrik is not alone as they attempt to arrest other members of his family. I don’t want to ruin this fantastic story but I will tell you that Hendrik finds himself inside a boxcar and his experiences are disturbing and the individuals that he meets are interesting. His relationship with Levi was to me the best. Levi was a man with dignity and pride and he tries to instill his qualities in others. Hendrik’s experiences were alarming and remarkable, a journey that I would never want to live but glad that I was able to read about. This book is definitely a great story and I highly recommend if you like books about this time period.
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Second Story Press in exchange for an honest review.