The Extra

6 CDs. 7 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2013. $54.97. ISBN 9781480518506. MP3-CD.
Gr 7 Up—Filling a gap in Holocaust literature, this tale (Candlewick, 2013) of Roma (Gypsy) prisoners brings listeners into the surreal world of filmmaking in concentration camps. Lilo had lived a privileged life until she and her parents were arrested by Nazi troops. Father is imprisoned away from the women, who are selected to be film extras in a romance directed by the Hitler's favorite documentarian, Leni Riefenstahl. The filmmaker is a brutal adherent to Nazi ideology who will starve and demoralize Roma, even disposing of those deemed "unnecessary" in the making of her self-aggrandizing film. Details about forced sterilization, Ravensbruck concentration camp, and Roma society's class system embellish the tale. Lasky builds the narrative based on true events. Her references and vocabulary can be precise to the point of being strained or arcane, which might confound listeners. Arielle DeLisle's narration provides dramatic accents, enlivening the German characters. Despite its drawbacks, titles about Roma history during the Nazi occupation of Europe can be difficult to find for teens, and The Extra is worth including in libraries with robust Holocaust collections.—Robin Levin, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Teacher/Fellow

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