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A touching and lucidly-told true story of Jewish children sent to safety in Lake Windermere in 1945
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2022 ages 11-14
Tom Palmer’s riveting After the War was sparked by the true story of Jewish Polish, Czech and German children who were sent to safety in the Lake District after surviving the horrors of Nazism. Addressing big questions - how does hope, humanity and friendship survive unimaginable horrors? How do we begin again? – in a highly-readable style (as is typical of Palmer and publisher Barrington Stoke), this is a thought-provoking, edifying read.
Trevor Avery of the Lake District Holocaust Project sets the context in the book’s foreword: “A group of young people arrived in the Lake District in the summer of 1945 and stayed for a few months, the last of them leaving in early 1946. Although they only spent a short time in the area, it was a profoundly important experience for them, and they made a big impression on those who met them at the time.”
A sense of this being a “profoundly important experience” is clear from the outset, as revealed when young Yossi first glimpses England, his imagined paradise: “This was the place where they had been told they would be safe. A place where there would be no German soldiers and no concentration camps.” But despite the peace, despite “the lush green hills under a bright blue sky” and the “huge clusters of trees, swallows flitting above them”, Yossi feels unsettled. The brick buildings remind him of concentration camps, and he’s haunted by terrible memories, disturbed by nightmares, and longs for news from his family - will his father ever be found and come for him?
Details of everyday life are strikingly evoked, and springboard deeper insights into the children’s experiences – a bike ride reminds Yossi of when he had to surrender his bike to the Nazis, immediately after he and his dad witnessed a horrific attack. An opportunity to attend a Rosh Hashanah celebration triggers his recollection of the terrifying time the SS destroyed his synagogue. A storm over Lake Windermere reminds him of bomb explosions. This device works perfectly, and Yossi’s enduring trauma is palpable. Then, at his lowest, a memory of his father’s words pulls him from the depths of despair: “if we let ourselves go, the Germans will think that they were right: that we are not human.” An exceptional telling of exceptional true events.
Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category.
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Summer 1945. The Second World War is finally over and Yossi, Leo and Mordecai are among three hundred children who arrive in the English Lake District.
Having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, they've finally reached a place of safety and peace, where they can hopefully begin to recover. But Yossi is haunted by thoughts of his missing father and disturbed by terrible nightmares. As he waits desperately for news from home, he fears that Mordecai and Leo - the closest thing to family he has left - will move on without him.
Will life by the beautiful Lake Windermere be enough to bring hope back into all their lives?
Praise for Over the Line;
“a stroke of brilliance...a lesson in empathy as much as history” – BookTrust
Praise for Armistice Runner;
“Powerfully poignant … not to be missed. If there is one WW1 story you read this year, let it be this one!” The Reader Teacher
Praise for D-Day Dog;
“Published to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, this is a dramatic and inspirational story” Parents in Touch Blog
|Publication date:||15th September 2020|
|Publisher:||Barrington Stoke Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3|
|Topics:||Family / Home Stories, Historical Fiction, Warfare / Battles|
Tom Palmer credits articles about football with getting him into reading as a child. He travels all over the UK for events, performing his immensely popular rugby and football reading games to hundreds of children every week. He is the current Writer-in-Residence for the RAF Museums. Tom is also working with the National Literacy Trust on a very high profile football and reading project during the Euro 2016 football tournament.More About Tom Palmer