- We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport by Deborah Hopkinson
Hopkinson, Deborah We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport. Scholastic Focus, 2020 [368p] illus. with photographs Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-338-25572-0 $18.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-338-25573-7 $11.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 4-8
As overt anti-Semitism rose from simmer to boil during Nazi consolidation of power in the 1930s, Jewish citizens of Germany—many community leaders, professionals, and distinguished military veterans—believed they could ride out what must surely be a temporary period of political bluster. After Kristallnacht, though, emigration became an urgent possibility, and in the short window of time before Germany declared war on its neighbors and international borders slammed shut, many families made the wrenching decision to send their children to refuge in England through the organized system known as Kindertransport. Hopkinson provides a broad historical overview, with fully half of her title dedicated to laying out context and introducing several Kindertransport participants who documented their experiences through memoirs and public education. There is, however, surprisingly little attention here to the details of the children's lives in England, the viewpoints of people who opened their homes to the children, or the eventual reunions—fortunate but stressful—of parents and children separated for years. Ample supporting material guides readers and their teachers toward more immersive reading, and multiple "Look, Listen, Remember" insets offer links to interviews archived online. Photographs, thumbnail bios, a timeline, glossary, bibliographies of online and print resources (with books for youth highlighted), quote citations, and index are included.