T4 by Ann Clare LeZotte


A Novel in Verse
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Paula Becker, deaf since infancy, lives in a small German town with her loving family until the Nazi government initiates Action T4, a program whose ultimate goal is to euthanize people with disabilities. For her safety, Paula is sent into hiding, first with a woman who teaches her to sign, then to a church shelter. There she meets Kurt, a strange man who persuades her to leave with him. They wander toward Berlin, but after a brief sojourn with a Jewish family in hiding, they return to the shelter. When T4 officially ends, Paula returns home, bringing Kurt with her. This short, debut novel-in-verse by a deaf author is thin on characterization and confusing in chronology. Brief, generic vignettes fail to bring the story to life. LeZotte repeatedly cuts away from the action to explain historical context and define terms, content better suited to a prose introduction or afterword than to verse. Nonetheless, behind what reads like a fictionalized historical summary for young children are hints of a genuine literary gift. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-547-04684-6
Page count: 128pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008


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