Searching for Lottie

176p. Holiday House. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823441662.
Gr 5–7—Twelve-year-old Charlie (short for Charlotte) Roth has been assigned a family history project. She decides to research her long-lost namesake, Lottie Kulka, presumed to have perished in Hungary during the Holocaust. Lottie's mother and younger sister, fortunately, escaped Austria to the United States, but Lottie was not so lucky. She was studying violin in Hungary and was never heard from again. Charlie interviews her own grandmother, Lottie's sister, and she shares scrapbooks, letters, and other mementos related to Lottie's life in Europe. These family documents lead Charlie on a slightly unbelievable path in which she finds distant relatives and discovers new truths about her family. In so doing, she navigates the world of middle school orchestra, boys, friends, and her immediate family. The dialogue, though information-packed, is often stiff. The author concludes with a note explaining how this story weaves together her own family's history. She further explains how the abundance of online and digital genealogical resources makes researching one's family history more possible than ever before. She encourages readers to research their own heritage and ask family members to share stories.
VERDICT A satisfactory Holocaust story with encouraging words for readers to spark storytelling and genealogical research.

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