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End of the Line

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Ordinary citizens risk everything to save a young Jewish girl in wartime Holland. This suspenseful novel vividly portrays the fear, uncertainty, and terror of the Nazi occupation in Holland. It is a story that reflects both the worst and best of humankind. A worthy addition to children’s books about the Holocaust, The End of the Line will leave young readers to ponder how ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Annick Press
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Alex Baugh
Aug 29, 2014 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
It is Fall 1942 and the Nazis have been occupying Holland since Spring 1940. Beatrix, 6, and her mother are Jews who have been running and hiding from the Nazis for that long. But now it is time to hid Beatrix in a safer more stable place.

Sitting on the tram, on their way to meet the woman who would take Beatrix to safety, her mother is suddenly taken away by the Nazis who regularly board and search the trams looking for Jews. Beatrix is left sitting on the tram by herself.

Brothers Lars, 63, an
PEI Public Library Service
Nov 29, 2014 PEI Public Library Service rated it really liked it
Sharon McKay’s newest book, tells the story of a young Jewish girl who is saved from the Nazis in wartime Amsterdam. Beatrix is left on a tram when her mother is taken away by occupying Nazi soldiers. Two elderly brothers, one the tram driver, the other the ticket collector, tell the arresting soldiers that Beatrix is their niece. The two brothers take Beatrix into their home, and with the help of their neighbor, Mrs. Vos, care for Beatrix, knowing that harboring a Jew could cost them their ...more
Jan 09, 2015 Janine rated it it was amazing
a world war 2 book with a happy ending. this is a must read for everyone. such a feel good book. so beautiful.
Rachel Seigel
Sep 09, 2014 Rachel Seigel rated it really liked it
moving and simply told story about an aspect of wwii that is not often covered in children's books. fast read great for younger readers who enjoy Kathy kacer or Irene watts.
Aug 18, 2014 Taffy rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read Holocaust books, maybe one every two years. The stories hurt my heart and spirit. Even though amazing stories of strength and courage come from this terrible era, it is still hard to read. THE END OF THE LINE is different. Being a middle grade book, I think the author and publisher did very well to teach the horrors of war without overwhelming the reader or giving them nightmares.

From the little that is gathered, Beatrix is five-years-old and she and her mother have been ru
Sharon Lawler
Amsterdam 1942. A Mother, accompanied by her child, boards a tram with the purpose of passing her child into hiding. Six year old Beatrix has been instructed to never say where she has been, or admit to being Jewish. As had become standard, the tram is stopped, Nazis board, and all IDs are checked. When the mother's ID identifies her as a Jew, she is hauled off the tram, leaving behind her terrified daughter. When the Nazi soldier turns his attention to the little girl, the the tram driver is ...more
Amsterdam during WWII is a deadly place to be a Jew. When a Jewish mother and her young daughter attempt to escape, the mother is caught by the SS and hauled off the tram she was riding, leaving the little girl. To the astonishment of the elderly, unmarried tram driver, he finds himself claiming the girl as his niece. Thus begins several long, nerve-wracking years as the childless brothers Lars and Hans try to both raise and hide Beatrix. They rely heavily on the even more elderly Mrs. Vos next ...more
Oct 16, 2014 Sally rated it it was amazing
Wartime Amsterdam, Holland 1942

Beatrix finds herself left at the tram station, as the Nazis take her mother from the tram. Lars, a tram operator tells the Nazis Beatrix is his niece. He and his brother Hans have no idea how to even begin to cope with a 5 year old and yet they are willing to try eventhough if they are found harboring a Jew it will mean certain death. They enlist the help of their neighbor, Mrs. Vos, who although does her best, she cannot always shield Beatrix from the horrors of

The End of the Line is reported to be based on real events. It illustrates how parents during World War II were concerned for the safety of their children. Like the young mother in the story, they often sent their children to live with family, out of the country, or in this case left them in the arms of strangers. McKay shows the impact of the Nazi occupation in Holland, how people lived in fear of being accused of being Jewish, taken away to a prison camp and the loss of their basic freedom. As
This was a fine fictional introduction to the Holocaust for children in the early to middle grades. Since the focus is a 6 to 7 year old girl named Beatrix while there is fear, it is never specifically stated why the Jews are being hunted down. The prison camp Westerbork is mentioned but again, not graphically, just as a prison camp with no details. The two adult bachelor brothers seem incredibly naive but may actually be quite realistic. For example, there was information available during World ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Selena rated it it was amazing
The End of the Line by Sharon McKay is the story of Beatrix and her survival during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. The actions of several people aid in keeping her hidden from the Nazis over three years.

Mrs.vos is my favorite character. She is introduced as a crotchety old lady, but soon becomes a beloved grandmother figure for Beatrix. She is responsible for helping her stay hidden, she uses a little "I know what you don't want others to find out" to keep the neighbors from telling on Beatri
Ms. Yingling
Aug 17, 2014 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Five year old Beatrix is riding on a train in Holland where brothers Lars and Hans are working. When the Nazis board the train and take her mother away, she is left behind, and Lars claims that she is his niece. There's nothing to do then but to take her home and figure out how to care for the girl, unless the brothers want to turn her over to the Nazis. They ask their elderly neighbor Mrs. Vos what to do, and she gives them advice and helps them out. She also visits every house in the ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it
Beatrix is left on a tram in Amsterdam when her mother is pulled off by the Nazis. She is taken in by older brothers Hans and Lars who operate the tram. They claim she is their niece and take her into their home. Together with their elderly neighbor Mrs. Vos they risk their lives to protect the little girl. Another neighbor Lieve helps teach Beatrix catechism so she can pass as Catholic. Hans and Lars do their best to make Beatrix a part of their family and love her dearly. The new family ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
Beatrice is a five year old girl sitting with her mother on the tram in 1942. Suddenly a Nazi soldier ushers her mother off the tram and starts to question Beatrice about her identity as a Jew. The ticket-taker, Lars announces that Beatrice is his niece. The Nazi soldier leaves. What does Beatrice do? What will Lars and Hans do at the end of the day with Beatrice? Lars and Hans decide to have their friend/neighbor help them. They are also helped by a neighbor relatively new to the neighborhood . ...more
Five-year-old Beatrix is left alone on a tram in Amsterdam in 1942 as her mother is removed by Nazi soldiers. Two elderly brothers who work on the tram are touched by the little girl's plight and befriend her despite being clueless about how to care for her. They are able to trust two neighbors, Mrs. Vos and Lieve, with the secret, and together, they shelter the child until the war ends. The author builds sympathy for Beatrix and her benefactors by describing several close calls they have with ...more
Apr 26, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing
The End of the Line
by Sharon McKay
Wow, a mesmerizing story that will make you cry, and find joy in the help and gifts of strangers. A little girl is abandoned on the tram in Holland. The Nazis have taken her mother off the tram, because she is a Jew, it is one year after the Nazis have invaded Amsterdam. They have change the city beyond recognition, but two elderly brothers could never expect the devastation and horrific nature of the Nazis reality. They are faced with a choice, allow a child t
Amy Alvis
Jan 11, 2015 Amy Alvis rated it it was amazing
As soon as I read the write-up of this story, I knew I wanted to read it. When reading about stories of people that helped the Jews during the war, you don't often hear about what happened in Holland. At least I've never read anything. This was a fairly short story, it took me about an hour to read but the story was very well written and definitely gave me an idea of what the people of Holland had to go through to survive the war. I will say that there was a surprise at the end of the story that ...more
Avneet Kaur
I did not actually finish this book today. It was a while ago, but I am updating now.

End of the Line is such a gorgeous book. Recommended for anyone who likes to read about people's experiences in different real-life situations.
This book is about a young girl during the war in Germany, I believe. Her mother is taken away to a war camp by Nazis. She now has to rely on strangers to survive.
Two brothers who have no idea about how to take care of children, being forty-fifty years old with no family
This Canadian chapter book is simple yet resonating. A little girl and her mother have been unable to find refuge from the Nazis in 1942 Amsterdam. A housewife gives them tram tickets and they make a last attempt to escape--but Nazi officers board the tram and take the mother. The child is left, claimed at the last moment by the brothers who run the tram. Lars and Hans are two bachelors who find the courage to do the right thing, faced with this little girl who has no one left. As wartime ...more
Nov 15, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing
During the later part of the school year I do a unit on Number the Stars with my 4th grade class. It is a book that broaches the subject of WWII and the atrocities committed, without fully delving into the horrors. While in this unit my students are always looking for more things to read on the subject, but I balk at buying some of the available books for them to read independently because I feel it would be too much hate for them to understand independently.

That being said, I will purchase at l
This is a mild read about the Holocaust and World War II. It hints at the more traumatic events, which is perfect for students who are more sensitive. It can also be an opener for students to have a conversation about the war with their parents or teacher. The story is told in third person, with the narrator erring more on the side of the brothers in the story instead of Beatrix, the little girl. While it provides a unique storytelling viewpoint, it did not resonate with me.

*ARC provided by Netg
Kimberly Westrope
Dec 22, 2014 Kimberly Westrope rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful novel with a very different perspective on WWII and how people all over the world were affected by it.

Two older gentlemen unexpectedly come to be in the possession of a very young Jewish girl, when her mother is escorted off of their tram by German soldiers. Their decision of whether or not to keep here is one that will change all of their lives forever.

Wonderfully written with very lovable characters. I was completely drawn in to the story and could easily imagine living t
Sandy Brehl
The German occupation of neutral countries is a subject dear to my heart, and this 2014 release explores the consequences played out in Amsterdam through the life of an abandoned five-year-old Jew. I particularly enjoyed the exploration of the elder adults who rescued her. Their ambivalence, transition, and ultimate humanity play out with such credibility and power that I was as committed and moved by them as I was by the young central character. Everyone in that situation was victimized by war, ...more
Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
Dec 06, 2014 Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh rated it really liked it
A little girl is left behind on a tram when her mother is arrested by Nazis. The two middle aged men who run the tram reluctantly take her home with them, and with the aid of an elderly neighbor, endeavor to raise the girl while keeping her Jewish ancestry hidden from the Germans billeted in their town. This would provide an introduction to the Holocaust suitable for younger children as the harsher realities occur offscreen.
Jan 03, 2016 Daisey rated it liked it
This was a quick read for me that would be appropriate for middle to upper elementary students who may not yet be ready for more traumatic stories. It does a wonderful job of introducing the circumstances of World War II and the Holocaust without being overwhelmingly depressing or violent. Beatrix's story is a wonderful story about family and community.

* I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.
Geri Dosalua
Feb 05, 2015 Geri Dosalua added it
Shelves: holocaust
This was a moving story about a little girl who ends up with a family of two uncles and an aunt that she never knew she had. It was Amsterdam and during World War 2, when lives changed rapidly. They were Jews and her Mom was taken away on the tram. She left her daughter behind and the two bachelor uncles inherit a little girl they come to love. Their neighbor also helps them with raising her. These were everyday people who risked their lives to save innocent people. They were true heroes.
Mark Buxton
Dec 10, 2014 Mark Buxton rated it really liked it
It's hard not to connect with a book about an innocent child caught in the middle of World War II. She only wants to be back with her mother. It's amusing and heart-warming to see two men in their sixties trying to help a small girl. They give her a metal train car one night to help her stop crying! It doesn't work. The story captures the fear and bravery of citizens trying to help innocent victims during the war. Love is the common bond of all the people helping Beatrice.
Michelle Barker
Aug 07, 2016 Michelle Barker rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg, 2016-reads
Difficult subject handled with just the right touch. I found the characters completely endearing—they were the definite strength of this story. My only tiny quibble was with the ending, which I won't spoil here. It could have been done in a way that was slightly less coincidental and more believable. But I think this would be an excellent book for students learning about WW2.
Nov 08, 2014 Beany rated it really liked it
A well-written quick read that gives an interesting perspective on life in wartime Holland. The characters are engaging and help develop the story from different perspectives. It would be a nice fiction choice for a unit of study on the Holocaust for upper grades.

Thanks to NetGallery and the publisher for the Ebook for review.
Apr 02, 2015 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Nicely written account of a small Jewish child whose mother is forced to abandon her on a tram in Amsterdam in the early '40's and the community that takes her in, hides her, but, most importantly fosters her during this tragic period
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