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THE DOG IN THE WOOD by Monika Schröder Kirkus Star


by Monika Schröder

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-701-4
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

While a wealth of children’s books set during World War II focus on the Holocaust, Schröder brings some of Germany’s other young victims to light in her exceptional debut novel. Still coping with his soldier father’s death, ten-year-old Fritz keeps hearing that the “worst is over” and that peace is in sight. But when his Nazi sympathizer grandparents commit suicide before the Communist Russians invade his town, Russian military leaders set up office in his house, vindictive neighbors eject Fritz’s family from their beloved farm and his mother is falsely accused of a crime, the aspiring farmer can’t help but wonder when the worst will really end. Pocketed amid the death and destruction, a few caring individuals—from the family’s Polish farmhand who shows Fritz how to carve wood to smiling Russian soldiers who give him his first chocolate bar—help the boy discover the courage, hope and friendship needed to survive. Based on the author’s grandfather’s experiences, this poignant look at the effects of war and propaganda, especially on children, resonates with candor and eloquence. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)