By Author / Illustrator
Tom Palmer, Violet Tobacco
Barrington Stoke Ltd
Paperback / softback
"The best children's fiction book I've yet read about the Holocaust" - Tim Robertson, CEO Anne Frank Trust
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?
What a thoughtfully written story, based on real-life events after WW2. It is set in the summer of 1945 and is about a group of boys who are taken to Windermere to recuperate after being liberated from the concentration camp. They have encountered horrors beyond comprehension and struggle with trusting anyone. Their first meal shows the uncertainty they have with not knowing when they will get food again.
After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside follows Yossi and his friends, Leo and Mordecai, as they begin the first step along their new life journey. Within their story, Tom Palmer has covered many sensitive issues such as the atrocious crimes of the Nazis, Auschwitz and the Ghettos. He has produced a book which teachers covering WW2 as a topic must read to their class.
Yossi has flashbacks throughout the story. This enables the reader to comprehend (as much as is possible) what life was like during this period in history. It is an amazing book, which includes photos and a message from the author, at the end, as well as a little information about the Holocaust. I couldn't put it down, and read it in a couple of sessions. What a gem!
176 pages / Reviewed by Donna Ritchie, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+
Yossi, Leo and Mordecai: three boys bonded together through extreme experiences. Their very survival a miracle and yet here they are, on a plane together to a safe haven, they hope. Hope is really the only thing that has kept them going for so long.
The boys are fearful and distrusting at first but as the promises become true, they begin to grow in strength and trust. Just three of hundreds of children transported to Windemere to recoup and recover before the next stage of their journey is to begin. Will each boy finally get what he has wished for and hoped for so long? Or will the horrors of the past prove too much to overcome?
In After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside, Tom Palmer sets a stark story for us to embrace. His skill of using space, of creating the drop of a word, phrase or sentence that creates such raw images, is moving and thought provoking. He opens the door to a world that we should all be aware of, a time that should never be forgotten, a place that destroyed many.
Recommended for age 9+. The story has themes of friendship, overcoming adversity, WW2, the Holocaust and survival.
176 pages / Reviewed by Donna Burkert, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+