We Had To Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport

Scholastic Focus. Feb. 2020. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338255720.
Gr 7 Up–This captivating narrative of assembled memoirs uses historical details of the Nazis’ rise to power and its consequences for European Jews to convey the danger, the emotional cost, and the significance of the Kindertransport (Children’s Transport). Hopkinson chronicles the rescue missions that saved young Jewish children from the Holocaust just before the start of World War II and describes the Nazis’ systematic and relentless persecution of European Jews that made those rescues necessary. Background information regarding Hitler’s rise to power is included, with special attention given to the Kristallnacht violence throughout Germany and the ways that the lives of Jewish families changed in the wake of these riots. Hopkinson’s faithful commitment to preserving and broadcasting the voices of as many Kindertransport survivors as possible makes for a rich, dense, and sometimes confusingly detailed narrative. An index, time lines, and source notes will help to orient the reader in the individual stories and provide connections to the broader scope of history.
VERDICT This moving account of an important and lesser-known aspect of 20th-century history is recommended for high school and junior high school nonfiction collections.

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