Page Count: 184
Age Range: 11 and up
Anya Rosen and her family, driven from Odessa by the Nazis, have settled into their new life in Shanghai. She is worried about The War, and about Amelia Earhart’s transatlantic flight, but those things are far away from her family in Shanghai. Chinese customs aside, life goes on as normal; her brother Georgi still snores in his sleep, they still hold Shabbat dinner, and Anya’s mother, an opera singer herself, holds out hope for Anya’s own opera career. Then one day on her way home from the market Anya finds an abandoned little girl, and everything changes.
Despite being marked as an ELL specific book by the Hennepin County Library, I would not recommend this book to anyone but advanced ELLs. But for stronger readers, this book is engaging, exciting, and offers a truly unique perspective on China, WWII, and the Jewish exodus from Europe of the 1930s. It brings fresh eyes to Chinese, Jewish, and Russian cultures, and explores WWII in a way that this reader had never thought about until now.
A challenging read, but worth the effort.