The sights, sounds and smells of the Warsaw ghetto assail readers’ senses in a raw, brutal telling of the unimaginable horror of that time and that place.

When the Nazis took Warsaw in 1939, they immediately initiated their separate war against the Jews in an ever-worsening web of destruction. Jews were prevented from using public transportation, doing business or attending schools. Then thousands were moved to the overcrowded ghetto, where they died of epidemics and starvation. Finally, relocations to the concentration camps emptied the ghetto. Sax gives voice to the fear and anger, hopelessness and terror through Misha, a fictional young teen who represents those who really lived and died there. In short staccato sentences, he bears witness to the madness, telling it all, from the struggle to stay alive to the corpses in the streets to the beatings and executions. Misha takes part in the doomed Warsaw Uprising and survives to tell the world of this last act of defiance. Strzelecki’s pen, ink and black-and-white pencil illustrations graphically depict pain and despair as they accompany text printed on stark white or black backgrounds. With the events of the Holocaust growing ever more remote with the passage of time, Sax gives modern readers an unrelenting, heart-rending insight into the hell that the Nazis created. Gripping, powerful, shattering. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)


Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5428-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013


From the Montague Siblings series , Vol. 3

An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage.

Adrian, the youngest of the Montague siblings, sails into tumultuous waters in search of answers about himself, the sudden death of his mother, and her mysterious, cracked spyglass.

On the summer solstice less than a year ago, Caroline Montague fell off a cliff in Aberdeen into the sea. When the Scottish hostel where she was staying sends a box of her left-behind belongings to London, Adrian—an anxious, White nobleman on the cusp of joining Parliament—discovers one of his mother’s most treasured possessions, an antique spyglass. She acquired it when she was the sole survivor of a shipwreck many years earlier. His mother always carried that spyglass with her, but on the day of her death, she had left it behind in her room. Although he never knew its full significance, Adrian is haunted by new questions and is certain the spyglass will lead him to the truth. Once again, Lee crafts an absorbing adventure with dangerous stakes, dynamic character growth, sharp social and political commentary, and a storm of emotion. Inseparable from his external search for answers about his mother, Adrian seeks a solution for himself, an end to his struggle with mental illness—a journey handled with hopeful, gentle honesty that validates the experiences of both good and bad days. Characters from the first two books play significant secondary roles, and the resolution ties up their loose ends. Humorous antics provide a well-measured balance with the heavier themes.

An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-291601-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021


A deftly balanced mix of history, intrigue, and romance.

Against the backdrop of World War II, four young women codebreakers put their minds together to find a serial killer.

It’s early 1943, and Arlington Hall, a one-time girls’ school in Virginia, is now the site of a covert intelligence facility where an 18-year-old former maid secretly assumes the new identity Kit Sutherland and becomes a codebreaker. A night out turns deadly when one of their own is murdered, and Kit stumbles across her body in the bathroom. Kit, roommate Dottie, and Moya, the supervisor of their floor, work alongside Violet, one of the Black girls from the segregated codebreaking unit, to bring the culprit to justice. As the budding friends turn their sharp minds and analytical abilities to covertly investigating what turns out to be a series of murders, Kit struggles to keep her own dangerous secret—and her attraction to Moya—under wraps. Meanwhile, Moya will do everything in her power to help her girls while trying not to fall in love with Kit. The novel deftly addresses questions of inequality across class, race, and sexuality in a story that combines well-researched historical background with a nifty whodunit, a strong focus on friendship, and an empowering queer romance. The narrative follows Kit and Moya, making them the better developed characters in the largely White cast. An author’s note includes many resources about the real women whose behind-the-scenes espionage work informed this story.

A deftly balanced mix of history, intrigue, and romance. (Historical thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-33958-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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