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When the Soldiers Were Gone

by Vera Propp

Published by Putnam, 1999
101 pages
ISBN: 0399233253

Ages 8-11

During World War II, eight-year-old Henk had always felt secure growing up as the youngest child in a Dutch farm family. But as soon as the war ended, his life was turned upside-down when a man and a woman arrived in a wagon, claiming to be his parents. Although Henk doesn't initially remember anything about his life as a small Jewish boy named Benjamin, he comes to a gradual understanding of his situation, as will young readers: the people he thought were his family in were actually family friends who had been hiding him from the Nazis. Children will not need to have any prior knowledge of the Holocaust to understand Benjamin's story. Propp skillfully provides just enough background information, little by little, for this spare novel, based on a true story, to unfold with clarity. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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