by Jean Betty Stuchner
Designated as fiction, experiences like the ones in this book really happened during World War II,
but stories describing life in Scandinavia during the time of Nazi occupation generally went undocumented until recently and therefore their stories weren’t well known. This story, somewhat reminiscent of Anne Frank, centers on a 10-year-old Danish boy, David, and his friend Elsa.
The reader gets caught up in the intrigue and, along with David, tries to understand why life has changed so much since soldiers arrived in Copenhagen. David’s parents, Jewish bakers in Copenhagen, are always worried. David’s sister goes to school early, comes home late, or sometimes doesn’t come home at all. The mandatory secrecy and silence of those times contribute to the reader’s suspense, but also to David’s frustration. Uncertainty and excitement are heightened as young David is asked to run a special errand, an errand that will change his life forever.
A bonus recipe at the end of the book and illustrations by award-winning artist Cynthia Nugent help bring this secretive story to life. The recipe’s special name, “Mama’s Honey Cake Recipe for a Sweet New Year”, reflects the optimism that kept the Jewish Danes going during these years.
For ages 8 and up; 100 pages.