Louder Than Words

Annick. (The Heroes Quartet: Bk. 3). Apr. 2020. 240p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781773213552.
Gr 4-7–The third installment in “Heroes Quartet,” a series that follows the real-life stories of unsung heroes who risked their lives to save Jewish families during World War II. Dina Sternik is too old for a babysitter. Yet when Mama goes to work after their father’s death, she and her two younger sisters must adjust to life with a housekeeper named Nina. Nina isn’t Jewish, but she is thoughtful and kind, and even asks Dina to help her learn about Jewish customs. Life slowly returns to normal. But one day, everything changes. The Nazis invade their Ukrainian town and the family soon learns the pain and humiliation of anti-Semitism. Nina can’t believe what is happening, but she makes a promise to stay and help. Before long, tragedy strikes, and Nina’s sacrifice is put to the test. How much will she risk in order to keep the Sternik family safe? This is a moving and heart-breaking story that gently introduces young readers to both the horrors and heroes of the Holocaust. Using the real-life story of Nina Pukas, given the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum based in Jerusalem, Kacer simultaneously honors Nina’s legacy and shares what life might have been like for a young Jewish girl and her family during a time of discrimination and war.
VERDICT This unique perspective on the Holocaust provides a powerful story that focuses on the importance of understanding and love.

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