THE NIGHT CROSSING by Karen Ackerman

THE NIGHT CROSSING

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 With the air of family history reshaped as fiction, a Jewish family's escape on foot from Innsbruck to Switzerland just after Hitler's 1938 annexation of Austria. Ackerman's unadorned narrative begins with midnight arrests and the betrayal of friends, but these are described so matter-of-factly that they lose most of their terror. Deciding to flee, Clara's parents sell their valuables, including Mama's wedding ring but not two heirloom Sabbath candlesticks. Stitched into older sister Marta's petticoat, these provide the chief drama: Since they tend to clank together, they are rehidden, at the border, inside another treasure--two dolls that Grandmother carried years ago on her ``night crossing'' from Russia to escape the pogroms, and which Clara has insisted on bringing. (This seems incredible: why wasn't the problem with the candlesticks resolved sooner, since silence has been vital throughout the long journey?) An epilogue follows the family to England and relative prosperity during the war, noting that many neighbors and relatives were less fortunate. Realistic if rather gentle, a simple dramatization that will be useful in introducing young children to the Holocaust. B&w illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-679-83169-X
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994




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