Leslie Wilson Saving Rafael

ISBN 13: 9781842709184

Saving Rafael

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9781842709184: Saving Rafael

An engrossing account of a forbidden love in war-torn Berlin between a Jewish boy and his childhood sweetheart There was a vehicle pulling up outside. I heard the booted feet running up the stairs, then the hammering on the apartment door and the shouting. "Open up! Gestapo!" She is 15 years old and in love. Only this is Nazi-ruled Berlin and he's a Jew, so it's against the law to love him. There are spies everywhere and they're taking the last Jews away from Berlin—to the gas chambers. Powerfully evoking civilian survival in a bomb-blasted city, and the sacrifice and courage required to maintain high individual standards of friendship and integrity, this novel of love and courage in the face of danger is one that readers will not be able to put down.

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About the Author:

Leslie Wilson is the author of Last Train from Kummersdorf.

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In Berlin, Jenny Friedemann’s Quaker family opposes Hitler, and they try to help their Jewish friends, even as they face vicious abuse from their Nazi neighbors and Jenny’s own pro-Hitler uncle. She has always been close with her Jewish friend, Rafael, and when his parents are deported to the camps, her family hides him in their house. Even as the Allies bomb their neighborhood, the teens fall for each other and begin to have sex. Then, Jenny is betrayed to the Gestapo and sent to Mauthausen concentration camp. She survives the camp, and she and Rafael escape to Sweden, but their happy reunion never denies the brutal extermination history or the complexity of the teens’ emotions. Jenny feels ashamed, for example, that she is stirred by Hitler when he leads a Nazi parade. Along with the passionate love story, teens will also be caught by the German civilians’ terrifying experience as well as by the history of Gentiles who risked everything to hide their Jewish neighbors. Grades 9-12. --Hazel Rochman

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