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The Night Crossing  
ID/ISBN: 9780679870401
Publisher: Random House
The Night Crossing Discounts Apply !
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Karen Ackerman

Clara treasures the two antique dolls that came with her grandmother when the family fled from the pogroms in Russia to Austria. Now the family is planning to escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and Clara intends to take them with her. When Mama sews her treasured silver candlesticks into the petticoat of her oldest daughter, they make noise and Papa is afraid they will clank and alert the border guards. Clara then suggests hiding the candlesticks in the dolls' straw stuffing since this is their second "night crossing," and they are not afraid. This is a suspenseful escape story written for transitional readers. The danger is clear but not belabored. The stress is on the family's closeness and courage. The dolls and candlesticks are tangible representations of continuity and tradition, which comfort and sustain the family. An epilogue reveals the fate of the Jews who did not escape, including Clara's grandmother. Ackerman's writing is clear and direct; despite its simplicity, it is never banal. This is an excellent fictional introduction to the Holocaust that is slightly easier to read, but for the same audience as, Claire Bishop's Twenty and Ten (Peter Smith, 1984). It will also be a good choice for less proficient older readers wanting World War II novels.
Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ

Paperback. 64 pages. Reading level: ages 7-12

List Price: $4.99
Our Price: $4.49


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