The dramatic story of neighbors in a small Danish fishing village who, during the Holocaust, shelter a Jewish family waiting to be ferried to safety in Sweden. It is 1943 in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Anett and her parents are hiding a Jewish woman and her son, Carl, in their cellar until a fishing boat can take them across the sound to neutral Sweden. The soldiers patrolling their street are growing superstitious, so Carl and his mama must make their way to the harbor despite a cloudy sky with no moon to guide them. Worried about their safety, Anett devises a clever and unusual plan for their safe passage to the harbor. Based on a true story.
*Starred Review* Based on a true incident, this is the story of two families, one Danish, the other Jewish. Young Anett is told by her mother, there are new friends in the cellar. This is no surprise to the girl; the cellar is where Danish Jews are hidden from the Nazis. The new boy, Carl, and his mother are to remain hidden for two nights, until a boat can take them to Sweden. Until then the other villagers provide bread and eggs and even books. The moonless nights make it difficult to evacuate the duo, yet as the Nazis come closer, it becomes clear that they must somehow make their way to the harbor. Then Anett has an idea. That night, the villagers stand in the doorways of their houses, each whispering, this way, and forming a chain that leads Carl and his mother to the first step toward safety. The illustrations have the bold look of a graphic novel and use oversize figures to command attention. Both author and illustrator do an excellent job of bringing both the horror and humanity of this story to a level younger children can understand, and there is much of both: Nazis pounding on doors; Carl giving Anett his most prized possession, a heart-shaped stone, a last gift from his father. An unusual and strong addition to Holocaust literature. Grades 2-4. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
"Urgent and refreshingly unsentimental." - Publishers Weekly
"The direct simplicity of the story's telling serves well as an introduction for younger children to the Holocaust. This uncomplicated narrative of Danish resistance will facilitate teaching and discussion of a difficult yet necessary subject." - Kirkus Reviews