WAITING FOR ANYA by Michael Morpurgo


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 Lescun, France, during WWII is the setting for this latest work by the author of Mr. Nobody's Eyes (1990). Jo is a shepherd with a tendency to doze on the job until a close encounter with a bear cures him while simultaneously leading to his acquaintance with Benjamin, son-in-law of the Widow Horcada, who lives up on the mountain. Benjamin, who is waiting to be reunited with his daughter, Anya, in the meantime leads other Jewish children over the mountains into Spain. The last-minute occupation of Lescun by the Germans threatens all, but a final group of children are helped by Jo and the villagers. Benjamin, however, is captured and sent to Auschwitz with a child who refused to be parted from him. Morpugo, never depending on stereotypes, builds a sort of magic-amidst-the-war oasis in his descriptions of region, seasons, village, and people. While harrowing journeys like these have become familiar, this particular story achieves special resonance in its depiction of the innocent and guilty living side by side, settling into uneasy alliances and learning the lessons of war that leave none untouched. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-670-83735-0
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991


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