YA book review · Young Adult

The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron

Originally published in School Library Journal, January 2020. Gr 9 & Up: One of nine children, 16-year-old Stefania Podgorska, “Fusia,” leaves the farm in Bircza and moves to Przemysl to work for the Jewish Diamant family. Fusia, a Catholic, joins the Diamant household, but they are forcibly moved to the ghetto by Germans, leaving her… Continue reading The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron

Adult Fiction book review

The German House by Annette Hess

  Originally published in Library Journal, December 1, 2019. In 1963 Frankfurt, Germany, 24 year old Eva Bruhns is hired by David Miller, a Canadian investigator, as a Polish translator for the Auschwitz war crimes trial. Eva's memories of WWII are distant and vague, and her family refuses to comment on the war as she… Continue reading The German House by Annette Hess

Adult Fiction book review

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Originally published in Library Journal, October 2019. Morris's sophomore novel, follows a brave young Czech woman from Auschwitz-Birkenau to the gulag at Vorkuta, a Siberian prison labor camp. When the Soviets liberate Birkenau, they sentence 18 year old Cilka Klein to 15 years hard labor for prostitution and espionage, though she was repeatedly raped by… Continue reading Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Adult Fiction book review

The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

Review originally appeared in Library Journal, July 2019. Alternating between the vineyards of war-torn 1940s France and present day, the lives of Ines and Michel, newlywed owners of the famed champagne house, Maison Chauveau, and the head winemaker’s Jewish wife, Celine Laurent, are forever altered. As Germans are pillaging homes and sending Jews to prison… Continue reading The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

Adult Fiction book review

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

Originally published in Library Journal, January 2019. Jenoff seamlessly weaves together the stories of three remarkable women and the impact of WWII on their lives. In the New York train station, Grace Healy, a newly widowed legal secretary, stumbles upon a suitcase with the name Trigg, containing a dozen photos of women with only first… Continue reading The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

Adult Fiction book review

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Originally published in Library Journal, January 2019. Loigman's second novel follows Jewish sisters Ruth and Millie Kaplan from their childhood in Brooklyn to adulthood living at an armory base in Springfield, MA. The eldest by three years, Ruth is held to almost impossible standards, while Millie, with her striking looks and pleasing manner, gets away… Continue reading The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Adult Fiction book review

The Latecomers by Helen Klein Ross

Originally published in Library Journal, October 15, 2018. In her third novel, Ross (What Was Mine; Making It) weaves a tale of the wealthy Hollingworth family and a secret that spans five generations. Rich historical details bring time periods to life from early 1900 wartime to the Great Depression and all the way up to September… Continue reading The Latecomers by Helen Klein Ross

YA book review · Young Adult

Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

Purple Hearts is the final book in the Front Lines trilogy by Michael Grant. This young adult historical fiction story takes place in 1944. Though the Battle of D-Day at Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, and the depiction of German death camps is written with historical accuracy, the one twist in the story… Continue reading Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

Adult Fiction book review

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Originally published in Library Journal, August 2018. Originally intended as a screenplay, this compelling debut historical fiction novel is based upon the life of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew imprisoned for almost three years at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he served as the tattooist. Soon after Lale, 25, arrives at Birkenau, he contracts typhus and is left… Continue reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Adult Fiction book review

The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom by A. E. Hotchner

Originally published in School Library Journal. Gr 9 & up - Hotchner's historical fiction, coming-of-age tale set in Depression-era St. Louis will capture readers at the start with a mysterious robbery which creates an uncertain future for the amiable protagonist. Aaron Broom, is street-smart beyond his 12 years, fending for himself with a mother in… Continue reading The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom by A. E. Hotchner