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When the Nazis occupy Austria, Ilse and her family escape to Japanese-occupied China where Ilse quenches her thirst for adventure as an occasional spy, but when harsh living conditions force them all to move to Shanghai's Jewish ghetto, a life-shattering secret is revealed.
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Lois Ruby's curiosity about the Jewish experience in Shanghai grew out of learning about the past experiences of her own mother, who once worked for the American embassy as a translator for the Jewish refugees in the Dominican Republic. Ruby is a former art and music librarian and is the author of several popular books for young readers, including the successful historical novel Steal Away Home. You can find out more about her on her website at www.loisruby.com.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6–8—Austrian Ilse Shpann spends her teen years with her family in Japanese-occupied Shanghai alongside numerous other refugees and stateless Jewish citizens. Fortunate to have escaped a Nazi concentration camp, Ilse; her older brother, Erich; and their parents experience a difficult and poverty-stricken five years. Forced to live in filthy, cramped tenementlike quarters, the Shpanns scrounge to find work and scrape together meager sums of money to keep themselves fed and sheltered. Rebellious Erich joins a resistance movement and works underground until he is caught, arrested, and nearly dies of typhus. Mother's hidden American connection/citizenship is uncovered, resulting in her detainment in a Japanese internment "civil assembly center." Ilse soon finds herself alone and, with a depressed and nonworking Father, in charge of maintaining normalcy if not basic survival needs for both. Through descriptive scenes, metaphorical language, and some risky, adventurous episodes, Ruby tells this Asian-oriented Holocaust story in Ilse's first-person voice that is at once sardonic, brave, determined, and hopeful. Minor, yet less-developed characters of a Chinese street urchin and a Japanese "King of the Jews" supervisor contribute to the atmosphere and provide some vivid interaction for Ilse in an Eastern world so vastly different from her own European existence. A lesser-known side of Holocaust history.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
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Book Description Holiday House, 2006. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0823419606
Book Description Holiday House, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0823419606