Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk Making Bombs for Hitler, 240 pages. Scholastic, FEB 2017. $18. Violence: PG-13 (not for elementary schools)
Lida, nine, has lived a nice life in the Ukraine in 1943, but one day she and her little sis are rounded up, separated, and Lida is taken to a labor camp in Germany to serve the Third Reich. As Ukrainians they are considered second class citizens, getting the least of the food and the worst assignments. Lida learns quickly to lie about her age and talks her way into a job in the laundry as a seamstress. Lida makes a couple of friends, but circumstances take her away to a new assignment in a factory making bomb parts. Through her entire ordeal, Lida is determined to one day to be reunited with her sister.
Skrypuch adds some interesting new details to my personal knowledge of life in a labor camp – including using young children as involuntary blood donors for the troops. One of the most poignant scenes for me was after Lida is liberated (spoiler), when she is taken to the shower, she cires so hard that the nurse goes into the shower with her to console and comfort her. While the main character is young, the subject matter is presented at a more mature level.
MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.