"Didn't the gas ovens finish you all off?" is the response that meets Ruth Mendenberg when she returns to her village in Poland after the liberation of Buchenwald at the end of World War II. Her entire family wiped out in the Holocaust, the fifteen-year-old girl has nowhere to go. Members of the underground organization Brichah find her, and she joins them in their dangerous quest to smuggle illegal immigrants to Palestine. Ruth risks her life to help lead a group of children on a daring journey over half a continent and across the sea to Eretz Israel, using secret routes and forged documents -- and sheer force of will. This adventure will touch readers, who will marvel at the resources and inner strength of mere children helping other children to find a place in this world in which they can belong. Carol Matas, one of the foremost authors of historical fiction, brings the desperation and passion of this remarkable journey to life.
Carol Matas is a writer of historical novels and other fiction for young readers, incorporating Holocaust and Jewish themes. She is known for her hard-hitting stories, that thrust adolescent protagonists into life and death situations, while confronting readers with the vagaries and complexities of life.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 1, 1997)
Length: 128 pages
Grades: 7 and up
Ages: 12 - 99
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