TO CROSS A LINE by Karen Ray


Age Range: 12 & up
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 In her first book for young people, a novelist recounts her Jewish father-in-law's experiences in escaping Germany. Beginning her fictionalized narrative with the heightened fear and restrictions after Kristellnacht, Ray depicts 17-year-old Egon Katz's unjust conviction for being run into by a Nazi-driven car while he's riding a scooter to deliver baked goods and his subsequent escape to wealthy cousins who set him on the way to Holland, disguised as a miner. When that falls through (he doesn't look the part), an older brother arranges for Egon to go to Sweden with Heinz, a boy his age, a plan that fails when Heinz is arrested by the Gestapo. In the end, Egon manages to walk into Denmark. Ray's writing is fluid, though not distinguished, while the authentic, skillfully selected detail and suspense attending Egon's flight--which covers little more than a month--are sure to hold readers. His warm welcome by a Danish policeman's family and the threat that it will be overruled by the man's superiors carry the tension to the last page of a swift read made even more inviting by its brief chapters and open format. An afterword sums up what later happened to Egon and his family. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06831-5
Page count: 154pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994