Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito- ESSENTIAL

Cerrito, Angela The Safest Lie. Historical Fiction. Holiday House, 2015. $16.95. Content: G. Nine year old Anna Bauman lives in the ghetto’s of Warsaw with her parents.  Although life is extremely difficult, with very little food and German soldiers surrounding them, Anna is grateful to be with her family.  Then the unthinkable happens, and Anna is taken from her family to live with a new family in hopes of helping her survive. With the help of a woman named Jolanta (the code name for the real-life Irena Sendler who, with the help of the organization Zegota, saved more than twenty-five hundred children from concentration camps and death) Anna was smuggled out of the ghetto and sent to live with a family who would hide and protect her.  Anna has a new name and a new religion. Anna tries very hard to remember her life as Anna Bauman, but must remember that she has to act like she hates Jews and everything they represent.  This is difficult for Anna and each night when she is alone and falling asleep, she remembers her mother and father, her grandma and her extended family.  Above all, she tries to remember who she really is and the Jewish faith that means so much to her.  After living for two years with the family who loved and protected her, the war was over and she was taken from that home to be reunited with any family that might have survived the devastation. It is unclear as to whether or not her parents survived the concentration camps.  “After years of pretending to be one, I actually may be an orphan. After nearly two years as part of a family, I am all alone. After so long pretending to be someone else, I feel lost.”  This in an incredible story of the devastation of the war and the amazing people who helped smuggle food, clothing and medicine into the Warsaw ghetto and smuggle children out. Cerrito is able to effectively draw the reader into the story and helps us to get a sense of how very difficult life was during this period of history. This exceptional book should be read by every youth and could be used in a unit on the Holocaust.  EL. ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: SL.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Thanks for the review. I've had my eye on this one and have it on reserve at the public library.