The Dog in the Wood

The Dog in the Wood

As the sounds of the Russian Army draw nearer and nearer to his German town, ten-year-old Fritz is planting tomato seedlings. He loves the smell of the earth and he loves growing things. But his life is about to be turned upside down by things that are way beyond his control. His grandfather has been a local Nazi organizer and rather than face the consequences with the Bolsheviks, both of Fritz's grandparents hang themselves from the beam in the barn. Left behind are Fritz, his sister, Irmi, his mother and the farmhand, Lech. They face the danger and the destructiveness of the Russians and are forced to leave their home and their farm when the new order demands that the land be shared by many instead of owned by the family. So, they take to the road and move in with Oma Clara. Fritz's mother and the farmhand, Lech, are arrested and put in prison. Now Fritz has even more difficulties. But, bit by bit, Fritz begins to create a life for himself just as he finally begins to carve the dog that waits in the piece of wood. The experience of this German family following the loss of World War II would be very interesting to compare to A MILLION SHADES OF GRAY by Cynthia Kadohata. Interesting point of view.

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