LISA'S WAR by Carol Matas
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Based on experiences of the author's family in Denmark during WW Il, the story of Lisa's involvement with the Danish resistance and her family's 1943 escape to Sweden with Denmark's other Jews. After the Nazis' peaceful takeover in 1940, some Danes--even Jews--believe that cooperation will avoid problems. But Lisa's family, aware through Radio Free Denmark of what is actually going on, never doubt the enemy's real intentions. Lisa's brother Stephan, 14, is immediately involved with the resistance; Lisa, at 12, is soon distributing flyers--ironically discovering that her tendency to throw up under tension has its uses when confronted by inquisitive Nazis. Even their father, a dedicated physician, decides to sabotage the enemy when he treats them. As the Danes cope in their usual efficient way, events move quietly--so that when an atrocity does occur (the Nazis retaliate for resistance activity by gunning down staff and patient in the operating room), it has, by contrast, unusual impact. In a few carefully chosen incidents, Stephan's and Lisa's involvement grows more serious--they help to blow up a factory, carry guns, shoot to kill; and, in an exciting conclusion, they play crucial roles in the Rosh Hashana escape. An honest, riveting depiction of a period in which Danes can take pride--though even here, as Matas makes clear (as Lowry does not, in her book for younger children, above), not everyone behaved nobly--and even the heroic pay a price when they learn to take vengeance without remorse.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1989
ISBN: 1416961631
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Scribners