Saturday, August 29, 2020

Which Way Is Home? by Maria Kiely - ADVISABLE

Which Way Is Home? by Maria Kiely, 179 pages.   Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin), 2020. $18                      

Content: G



At the end of World War II the communists took over Czechoslovakia. They encouraged people to spy on each other and let the government know if they thought people had thoughts not in line with communist ideals. Anna lives with her family on a farm in Roven, Czechoslovakia. She has a happy childhood and loves to play with her cousins. Anna is 11. Her older sister is a concert pianist. Their dad has been missing for several months. One day they suddenly pack their bags and leave. Anna, her sister and mother had to flee their home because their father was wanted by the communist government. Anna is scared, but does what her mother says. Anna hopes and prays that they will get to safety and be reunited with her father. They have to try to escape Czechoslovakia and get out of the reach of the communists. They are no longer safe.

Anna's story is based on the real-life story of the author's mother and her family's flight from Czechoslovakia. It is an amazing story of staying strong through the most harrowing experiences and believing in the good in people.  Anna's father was a diplomat and a spy and he really was wanted by the government. It was a fantastic book and, again, I could not put it down. I will definitely recommend this book to students, teachers and friends. I remember the stories my own grandparents, and parents, always told of life in Europe after World War II. I really empathized with Anna and her family. This is the first published novel for this author, and I look forward to reading more of her books.

Ellen-Anita, LMS       

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