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Erika's Story

It is the winter of 1944. In Nazi-occupied Europe, a Jewish couple realize their fate is sealed and make a heart-rending decision: they throw their baby daughter off the cattle car taking them to a concentration camp, hoping against hope that she'll have a chance to survive. A village woman risks her own life and safety by adopting the girl, and calls her Erika. In time, Erika grows up, marries, and has children of her own, rebuilding a family tree from the ground up — but still, she thinks of the parents she never knew.

This compelling book is based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor that author Ruth Vander Zee met in a German village. Her elegant narration and Roberto Innocenti's searing and beautiful illustrations combine to capture this terrible time in all its complexity, with a reminder that evil brings fear and sadness, but cannot destroy love and hope.

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"Vander Zee narrates this true story in the voice of Erika, a woman she encountered in a German village, who, as a blanket-wrapped infant, was thrown from a cattle car bound for a concentration camp in 1944. ("On her way to death, my mother threw me to life.") A German woman risked her own life to raise Erika, who eventually married and had children of her own. ("Today my tree once again has roots.")... Compelling and powerful in its simplicity, Erika's story proves that determination, hope, and goodness can overcome evil." — Susan Scheps, School Library Journal

Product Details

Recommended Age 9 - 13
Author Ruth Vander Zee
Illustrator Roberto Innocenti
ISBN 0898128919
Publication Date Aug 13, 2013
Publisher Creative Paperbacks
Language English