There are many, many novels written for children and teens about World War II and the Holocaust, and recently there have been a number of successful fiction and nonfiction writings of the Hitler Youth movement of young boys; however, very little is known about young girls living in the Nazi Régime in the 1940’s. Based on true facts and ideals, Joan Wolf guides readers along on a young girl’s journey through a time in history that very few Americans can comprehend. History tells us that Hitler believed in a supreme Aryan race – beauty and strength in the form of blonde hair, blue eyes, and proportioned facial features. Milada has just celebrated her eleventh birthday when she is separated from her family and taken from her home in Lidice, a town just outside Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic, divided from Slovakia). She is brought to Poland to a center designed to instruct the chosen young girls on how to be perfect Aryan children for the future of Germany. After almost two years in the training center, where Milada – now called “Eva” – has learned the Nazi German history, culture, and language, she is sent off to Germany to be adopted by her new Aryan family, headed by a high-ranking Nazi officer. While she is well cared for, well fed, and treated with respect and even love, she yearns for the family, the language, and the home that she is afraid she will forget forever.
Milada’s journey is powerful largely because there is little known about Hitler’s League of German Girls or about the role of the Czech people during the Nazi Régime. The author’s note at the conclusion of the novel sheds significant light on this period of Czech history. This book is recommended to middle school readers who are interested in stories of the Holocaust, Hitler, and the Nazis. While not overly graphic in nature, the story naturally covers topics that are mature in nature.
Recommended for middle grade readers.
Call number: YA WOLF (Teen Room) and J WOLF (Children's Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian