Scholastic Canada, 2010
Nadia arrives in Canada after the end of World War II, from the Displaced Persons’ camp where she has spent the last five years. But troubling memories and dreams begin to haunt her. Who is she really? She sees images of another family, Nazi uniforms, Hitler . . . but can she believe what her dreams are telling her?
From Scholastic Canada website
At this point in my life I’m not ashamed to admit that I know pretty much nothing about history. I sucked at the subject in school and the way it was taught didn’t entice me to learn about it on my own. I know the basics like everyone else, but as for actual details? Yeah, you so don’t want me on your trivia team.
So I love that there are all these books out there that may be fiction but are based on historical facts. I’ve read a few adult historical fiction novels but recently discovered a pure love for middle school and young adult historical fiction. I think it’s because these books don’t tend to assume that the reader already knows a crap load about the period or subject matter.
Stolen Child is an engaging story about one child’s journey to not only fit in in Canada after fleeing the Nazis, but to also try to piece together her past and where she came from. I loved reading about Nadia learning to speak English and her wonder at the local library. Her simple joy over the most basic things really brought home how lucky were are, and have always been, in Canada.
Aspects of WWII and the Nazis are revealed through Nadia’s returning memories of her younger years. I loved that rather than simply telling us about Nazi specifics, the author chose to reveal the details in this way. I can’t really say too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but I definitely learned something new about that time period from Stolen Child.
There are also a few pages of “Author’s Notes” at the end of the book that explain a bit more about what Stolen Child is about. I think that these included pages would be a big help to not only solidify what was in the book, but to help any younger readers who may be a bit unsure about what was fiction vs what was historical fact.
I really enjoyed this book and I love that these middle school and young adult historical fiction books are kind of a sneaky teaching tool. I think that if I had had them available to me when I was in school, I wouldn’t have been such a reluctant history student.
Thanks to Scholastic Canada for helping this late learner.