Katarina

ISBN 10: 0374339848 / ISBN 13: 9780374339845
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Synopsis: During World War II in Slovakia, a young Jewish girl in hiding becomes a devout Catholic and is sustained by her belief that she will return home to her family as soon as the war ends.

From School Library Journal: Grade 6 Up-This book bears testament to the pernicious influences of insularity and superstition and to the courage of people who, in the face of danger, are willing to defend the helpless. Katar!na has been raised by her aunt, a free-thinking woman who has always scorned the constrictions of organized religion. She knows nothing of her Jewish heritage beyond the fact that she is Jewish. In fact, Katar!na is secretly being taught the Catechism by the family's maid and considers herself a devout Catholic. As the Nazis tighten their grip on the Jewish population, Aunt Lena finds a peasant family whom she pays to take in the girl. She is hidden for a time but, as the danger to the family increases, she is sent out on her own. After several near escapes, Katar!na makes her way to her former maid's family and is placed in a Protestant orphanage for the duration of the war. This is a difficult book, not only because of its subject matter, but also because it moves backward and forward in time and because the voice sometimes shifts from that of Katar!na to that of a person observing her. Then, too, an eight-year-old child must, necessarily, have had a confused understanding of the calamity that had befallen her. In spite of the challenges of its style, however, Katar!na is worth reading and begs for discussion. Winter has told her story with admirable evenness. Even the people unsympathetic to Katar!na's plight are given motivation. Readers are also aware of numerous characters who risked their own lives to help her. Many teachers, librarians, and parents should find ample use for this powerful book.
Miriam Lang Budin, Mt. Kisco Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: Katarina
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