TOUCH WOOD: A Girlhood in Occupied France by Renee Roth-Hano

TOUCH WOOD: A Girlhood in Occupied France

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A first book, in diary form, based on the author's experiences during WW II. Renee, eldest of a tailor's three daughters, has fled the German invasion with her parents, sisters, and grand-mère, leaving Alsace for Paris. As the Nazis tighten their noose around France's Jews, the family progresses from economic exclusion to the wearing of stars to living in fear of deportation. Hoping to save the girls, their parents send them to a Catholic women's residence in Normandy; and in the latter half of the book, they live in an alien world-amid mounting deprivation. During the Allied invasion they flee with other residents, in fear of starvation, Allied bombs, and German retribution. As the story closes, the family is reunited and begins to count the cost of survival. Told in the present tense, this has the feel more of a memoir than of a novel. Roth-Hano adheres to her 9-to-14-year-old voice, and brings the experience to life in small, telling details. A worthy addition to the literature about the Holocaust written for children.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1988
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Four Winds/Macmillan