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They Went Left

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.66  · 
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 ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-arcs
This book was phenomenal, and I think my favourite of Hesse's books so far.
Zofia has survived a number of concentration camps and is now beginning the work of trying to reunite with her younger brother. She is doing that through a patchwork of numerous charities - no central database and with the possibility that he has died/been mislabeled in German files/wants to move on without reuniting hanging over the process.
I thought Hesse's choice to explore the immediate post-war era was inspired -
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I can not say enough how good this book was. All the stars, all the accolades, all the YES to this book. It was exactly what you want from a historical fiction book: moving, informative, timely. I put it down and immediately went back to reread certain parts again. This is not something I normally do, but Hesse's words and prose stuck with me in such a way, I
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"...everyone traveling in a different direction, and every direction was someone's home, as if the world were a board game and all the pieces had ended up scattered in the wrong corners of the box."

"Choose to love."

Significant visual and messages from Hesse's new book to be released in 2020. I'm beyond happy as a bookworm that I chose this to be my first book of 2020 because I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. She manages to weave another sentimental and informative historical fiction while
Leah Moore Woods
Thank you to Little, Brown Young Readers, Hachette Audio, and LibroFM for the advanced listening copy of They Went Left by Monica Hesse.
One of my favorite historical fiction books is Girl in the Blue Coat, so when I saw this audiobook on LibroFM, I jumped up and down! Listened to the book in 2 days, and felt so many emotions... Zofia is a very likeable MC and I was rooting for her the whole book. I laughed and cried, and I will be thinking about these characters often. Amazing writting, this
Sarah Stone
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
They Went Left
By Monica Hesse


Synopsis: Fans of The Blue Coat will be happy to know Hesse is back with another great WWII historic fiction novel. Zofia Lederman survived Gross-Rosen Concentration camp, but can she find her lost brother? As she trapezes across central Europe in search of Abek, Zofia lands a displaced persons camp in Germany where she meets others in search of lost relatives and hope for a new better life. Her search begins to seem insurmountable, will she ever find her brother?
Munro's Kids
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've been able to finish since going on mat leave, and holy crap, it's set an INCREDIBLY high standard for the next book I pick up!

This book is heart wrenching, raw, and visceral in its telling of a teenage girl who has been liberated from a concentration camp at the end of WWII. Zofia has lost most of her family, but she hopes, almost beyond hope, that her brother Abek is still alive somewhere. She begins the overwhelming task of trying to be reunited with him. Zofia
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Monica Hesse is an absolutely stellar researcher. The amount of work she puts into each of her books should serve as an example to other historical fiction writers. She is simply tremendous. I love the character of Zofia and I was engrossed in his her journey would continue from step to step in search of her brother, Abek. While this book was fairly predictable for me as an adult, I think it would be a rapid and interesting plot for the intended audience (teens). I also appreciated the unique ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So many novels about WW II and the Holocaust focus on the war, or the concentration camps, or even occasionally the events that led to the war. They Went Left is a Holocaust novel that is set after the war, after the concentration camps have been liberated, during a time of chaos and confusion as people try to make their way back home and reunite with family members.

Zofia and her younger brother Abek are Polish Jews who are part of the mass deportation to Auschwitz - Birkenau. Zofia promises
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fiction
After World War II is over, Zofia is liberated from a concentration camp with one single desire-- find her little brother, Abek, and return home. In the midst of her travels, she finds a comforting makeshift family among folks in a Displaced Persons Camp, where many other survivors await news of their loved ones. She is particularly drawn to the quiet and mysterious Josef. As time passes, Zofia refuses to give up hope that she and Abek will reunite. They Went Left is a despairingly beautiful ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Monica Hesse is a genius. I love everything she writes, I love the emotion and grace of her writing. I love the complexity of her characters. This book is YA, yes, but her writing and storytelling is so mature that I think adult readers of WWII fiction would love this as well. Another master piece of historical fiction.
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Monica Hesse is the national bestselling author of the true crime love story American Fire, and the historical mystery novel Girl in the Blue Coat, which has been translated into a dozen languages and won the 2017 Edgar award in the Young Adult category. She is a feature writer for the Washington Post, where she has been a winner of the Society for Feature Journalism's Narrative Storytelling ...more
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