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They Went Left

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4.63  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  19 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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  • They Went Left by Monica Hesse
    They Went Left
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    Release date: Apr 07, 2020
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    A tour de force historical mystery from Monica Hesse,
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    Average rating 4.63  · 
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     ·  51 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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    Celia McMahon
    Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Thank you Edelweiss for this phenomenal e-galley!

    I cannot stress this enough: I am a sucker for punishment and will read every WW2 book out there no matter how heart-wrenching, gut-punching, how completely soul-destroying it is.

    THEY WENT LEFT tells the unique story of what happened AFTER the concentration camps were liberated. Zofia, who has lost her entire family, holds onto hope that her little brother, Abek is alive. Accompanied first by a Russian soldier, she arrives back home only to find
    ...more
    Sarah
    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 -
    ...more
    Amy
    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
    ...more
    Alicia
    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
    ...more
    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
    ...more
    Mary Lins
    Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: complete
    When I chose “They Went Left”, by Monica Hesse, from my Amazon Vine queue, I had no idea that it was categorized as Young Adult (YA). If I had, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it, and that would have been a shame, because it’s a great piece of historical fiction; fast-paced, with interesting characters, and a compelling plot with a touch of suspense and “twistiness” in the mix! All while highlighting a crucial time AFTER WWII as the displaced people, particularly the Holocaust survivors, attempt ...more
    Sarah Stone
    Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    They Went Left
    By Monica Hesse

    /5

    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?
    ...more
    Kelly McWilliams
    Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    A gorgeous and heartbreaking consideration of the fate of a young woman after the liberation of the concentration camps. I loved this book. I particularly appreciated the way it spun its memory tale, probing the depths of the human psyche after unthinkable trauma. Structurally, it’s a fascinating and affecting work of art; at core, it’s a book in celebration of hope.
    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
    ...more
    Kate Waggoner
    Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2020-read
    @KidLitExchange

    Thank you @littlebrownyoungreaders for sharing an advance copy of They Went Left by Monica Hesse with the #Kidlitexchange network. This book will be released April 7, 2020. All opinions are my own.

    It's August 1945 and Zofia Lederman is in line to get discharged from the hospital. She survived the war and her time in the camps and is going home to find her brother. The last thing she said to him was a promise: "Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill out our
    ...more
    Sheri woolman
    Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I almost can’t put into words how fantastic this book is. The rawness of what hell Zofia went through in the concentration camps and to survive. I have read a lot of historical fiction and never have I read about what happens after you survive Auschwitz. How the mind was broken, and try’s to heal. Zofia is a 18 and trying to find her brother she is sure that he is alive and she desperately wants to find him. She takes matters into her own hands, because she is free again to do so, and goes ...more
    Erikka
    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
    Julie
    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
    ...more
    Sarah Holliday (Page & Cup)
    World War II fiction is as popular as ever, but it's high time for innovative approaches to the horrors, traumas, and priceless stories of the period. Hess succeeds at doing just that, forcing readers to reckon with the deceiving nature of so many stories that end with victory and fail to address the confusion, pain, and destruction left in the wake of war. Zofia is a heroically brave protagonist, whose search for her little brother and attempts to return to some semblance of 'normal' following ...more
    Dee
    Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I've read enough (both non-fiction and fiction) about the holocaust that I was apprehensive going into this book. Was I ready to encounter the same heartache I always do in reading about concentration camp experiences? Then I started They Went Left, and realized that in all my reading, I'd never read a story about the Jewish people trying to pick up the pieces immediately after the war. I found the story of 18-year-old Zofia Lederman trying to find her younger brother after liberation so ...more
    Andrew
    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
    Anna
    Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Linda
    Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Beautifully written and terribly sad. I recommend. Not many historical fiction books provide the story of the lost souls after liberation. The families never to be again. The searching. The rebuilding lives. The new "families" made with friends as broken lives come together.
    Lauren
    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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    Nov 26, 2019
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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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