Shanghai Escape

240p. photos. reprods. Second Story. 2013. pap. $16.95. ISBN 978-1-927583-10-4.
Gr 4–6— Filled with photographs, Shanghai Escape is an episodic novelization of Lily Toufar's real-life story growing up in Shanghai. Lily is four when her extended family flees Austria on Kristallnacht. They go to one of the few places accepting Jews-Shanghai. There Lily lives in the French concession and goes to school as her family tries to adjust to a new life. Shanghai is under Japanese control and after Pearl Harbor, things start to change. Eventually Lily, her family, and the rest of the stateless refugees who arrived after 1937 move into the Hongkew ghetto-a place already overcrowded with poor Jews and even poorer Chinese citizens. Once there, they hear the horror stories coming out of Europe and wonder what will happen next. Making Toufar's story accessible to middle-grade readers means that some of the realities of Asian geopolitics are not entirely accurate, and some of the horrors of the Holocaust are glossed over. As there is little written about the vibrant Jewish community in Shanghai, this does remain a good and different addition to Holocaust literature, especially for readers too young for Andrea Alban's Anya's War (Feiwel & Friends, 2011).—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA

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