"Lida, don't leave me!"
But Lida can't even save herself. She shouts to her younger sister, Larissa, "I will find you Larissa. I promise. Stay strong." Larissa disappears through a doorway and as Lida is slapped across the face, lifted up and thrown into a sea of metal and blackness.
She's on a train trapped in a boxcar like cattle with too many other children. They have left their homes in the Ukraine behind and now look to each other for a grain of hope. Where are they going? Why are they here? What will happen next?
This is the story of what happened to millions of Ukrainians during World War II when the Germans needed people to work in their factories. The Nazis kidnapped children from the Ukraine, barely fed them, and forced them to work in factories. Small hands could do small tasks that larger adult hands could not do.
Lida meets a boy on the train named Luka. He has gone this way before and he tells her to lie about her age and to figure out what skill she has that will be valuable to her captors. If you're too young, they don't want you.
This is a gritty story of survival in the most inhumane of places. The disregard for humanity, the discrimination, the hatred all come through honestly and authentically. For those who wonder what happens when human beings attempt to become masters of the world by raising themselves up and looking down at others, here comes truth. It's ugly. It's filled with horror. It's important to read this so we never, ever do this again. Courage. Survival. Hope.
240 pages 978-0545931915 Ages 11-14
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Other titles in the series: Stolen Child (Larissa's story); The War Below (Luka's story) coming April 2018
Lida thought she was safe. Her neighbors wearing the yellow star were all taken away, but Lida is not Jewish. She will be fine, won't she?
But she cannot escape the horrors of World War II.
Lida's parents are ripped away from her and she is separated from her beloved sister, Larissa. The Nazis take Lida to a brutal work camp, where she and other Ukrainian children are forced into backbreaking labor. Starving and terrified, Lida bonds with her fellow prisoners, but none of them know if they'll live to see tomorrow.
When Lida and her friends are assigned to make bombs for the German army, Lida cannot stand the thought of helping the enemy. Then she has an idea. What if she sabotaged the bombs... and the Nazis? Can she do so without getting caught?
And if she's freed, will she ever find her sister again?
This pulse-pounding novel of survival, courage, and hope shows us a lesser-known piece of history -- and is sure to keep readers captivated until the last page.--from the publisher