Beth's Reviews > A Faraway Island

A Faraway Island by Annika Thor
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Jul 28, 10

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bookshelves: jewish

In 1939 two sisters, Stephie and Nellie, are sent to Sweden to avoid persecution by the Nazis. Stephie, the older sister, struggles to keep her Austrian identity while trying to assimilate to Swedish life. Stephie and Nellie are boarded in separate houses, but remain close enough to see each other daily. Both girls struggle communicating with others and making friends. Stephie desperately misses her parents, while Nellie adapts easier to her new family and way of life. Stephie and her foster father try their best to get visas for their parents, but nothing can be done. In the end Stephie and Nellie realize that they must make the best of their situation, and hope that someday they will meet their parents again.
This is a fictional novel for ages 10-12. There are no illustrations except for cover art. The cover art depicts the two girls alone looking across the Swedish island that they know call home. I like how their closeness and Stephie’s protective nature are portrayed. I would recommend this book for fourth or fifth grade students that are studying displaced people of war, or for students who have emigrated from another country. This book would be appropriate to use with these ages because there is no graphic scenes or potential controversy. I would recommend that this text be read with Tropical Secrets because they both focus on the stories of displaced Jewish children during WWII. The students could compare and contrast the experiences of Stephie and Daniel. I enjoyed reading this text, but it was definitely low key. I know that through children’s eyes it would be a great window into the struggle of the Jewish during WWII.
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