A FARAWAY ISLAND by Annika Thor

A FARAWAY ISLAND

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Age Range: 9 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

At the onset of World War II, Jewish Stephanie and her younger sister, Nellie, are sent to a Swedish island to live with separate host families while they await their parents’ visas to America. Even after the turmoil of Vienna, Stephie struggles with separation from her sister and living with strict Aunt Marta in lonely isolation, while Nellie quickly finds friends and comfort. As time passes and her Swedish improves, Stephie learns more about why her circumstances are more difficult than Nellie’s. While the parents encounter multiple barriers to reuniting the family, some small adjustments are made in the girls’ daily lives to ease their situation. The increasing involvement of Sweden in the war provides a commonality between the girls and the villagers, allowing Stephie to look outside her pain to find an inner strength and determination that she never knew she had. Straightforwardly told in the present tense and easier for tender hearts than the brutal stories of concentration camps, this still conveys the reality of war and the suffering of those displaced by it. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73617-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009




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