Synopses & Reviews
An amazing and inspirational World War II story about how one man saved the lives of many.
Raoul Wallenbergand#8217;s name may not be a universally familiar one, but the impact he had is immeasurable. Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He did this by issuing protective passports and housing Jews in buildings established as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives. Louise Borden researched Wallenbergand#8217;s life for many years, visiting with his family and the site of his childhood home, and learned his story from beginning to end. Wallenberg himself has not been heard from since 1945. It is suspected he died while in Russian custody, though this has never been proven. Raoul Wallenberg . . . itand#8217;s a name you may not have known, but youand#8217;ll never forget his story.
During their six-year ordeal of World War II, the Blumenthal family lived in refugee and prison camps, including the notorious concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany. This is their story, as seen through the eyes of a child.
If she could find four perfect pebbles of almost exactly the same size and shape, it meant that her family would remain whole. Mama and papa and she and Albert would survive Bergen-Belsen. The four of them might even survive the Nazis' attempt to destroy every last Jew in Europe.
About the Author
In Her Own Words...
"I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and had a very ordinary and uneventful (as it seemed to me) childhood. I read voraciously, but it never occurred to me that I would one day become a writer. For one thing, I had never met a "real, live author," as young people do nowadays in their schools and libraries. And, in any case, most of the writers I read in my growing-up years, like Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott, were dead.
"I didn't begin to publish juvenile fiction and nonfiction until my own children were in the fourth or fifth grades at school. I was stimulated by their expanding interests and by the realization that I had a great need to explore the longsilent world of my own childhood.
"Soon I was writing contemporary novels for middle-graders, among them the "Fat Glenda" series. I also became intrigued with the reaches and challenges of nonfiction. I ventured into the American culinary past with titles like Slumps, Grunts, and Snickerdoodles:
In Her Own Words...
"At the age of thirteen, upon being placed in fourth grade with boys and girls four years younger than me, I was introduced to the English language for the first time. The German, Dutch, and Hebrew I had learned during my tumultuous "childhood" in Nazi Europe were not of much value at that time. It was not uncommon for me to sit through several showings of great screen classics, including The Best Years of Our Lives. These movies, along with radio, helped me to master the new language. How I found time to attend any movie is still a mystery to me, for I had worked after school ever since our family had reached Peoria, Illinois in 1948.
"By age sixteen both my English and my looks had improved considerably, and this combination somehow inspired a young college sophomore to ask to walk me home at the conclusion of Yom Kippur services on October 10, 1951. At that time I was a sophomore at Peoria Central High School.
"That summer Nathaniel--that "young college sophomore"--returned home to New York for vacation and work. We wrote to each other every day, but Nathaniel didn't make it easy for me. To improve my English he included in each letter ten words for me to look up in the dictionary and then use in a sentence. Not only did I comply with his request (how foolish I felt years later), but I wrote each of my letters to him on scrap paper, and only when I was satisfied with the contents would I pen it in my best possible handwriting.
"I graduated from high school in 1953, having managed to complete my studies in only two years (with summer courses), and ranked eighth in a graduating class of 265 students. Shortly after graduation Nathaniel and I were married, somewhat to the chagrin of my mother and his parents. I was eighteen years old.
"Upon graduating from college, Nathaniel entered U.S. Air Force pilot training, giving me the opportunity to see more of our beautiful United States. Our son David was born in Winter Haven, Florida; daughter, >Lila Perl, my talented co-author. But the sweetest recognition was the Sydney Taylor "Best of the Bunch" citation, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Thirty years ago, when I was an elementary-school PTA program vice-president, a Book-and-Author luncheon was held in our home, and the distinguished guest was none other than Sydney Taylor, the author of the outstanding books about the "All-of-a-Kind Family."