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The Year of Goodbyes

by Debbie Levy

Published by Disney/Hyperion, 2010
136 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4231-2901-1

Ages 10 - 13

Debbie Levyís narrative in verse is built around her motherís poesialbumóa traditional friendship album that was popular among girls in Germany at the time of Hitlerís rise. Actual entries from her motherís friends and classmates form the epigraph for each chapter as twelve-year-old Jutta (Levyís mother) describes how life for Jews becomes more and more restricted and dangerous. Her father is desperately trying to obtain permission, and then visas, for their family to emigrate to America. Eventually they are able to escape the dangers in their homeland. Blending fact and fiction, Levy is able to convey the monumental events taking place in Germany through the eyes of a girl whose life revolves around family and friendships, all of which become more and more cherished as time goes by and dangers increase. In addition to photographs, a timeline and bibliography, Levyís afterword offers brief accounts of what happened to her motherís friends and classmates whose names and words are part of Juttaís poesiealbum, adding additional depth to this fascinating story.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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