Tag Archive | Penguin Books

My Friend Anne Frank by Hannah Pick-Goslar with Dina Kraft

In Memory Of The Six Million Innocents

My Friend Anne Frank by Hannah Pick-Goslar with Dina Kraft is a powerful and heartbreaking account of a time of great evil. The book is written by one of Anne Frank’s closest friends who also fled Germany for Amsterdam in order to be safe. Hannah Pick-Goslar lived in the same apartment block as Anne Frank and they were in the same class at school.

The author tells of life before the war and of life as it was gradually eroded for the Jewish people.

Even before captivity Hannah Pick-Goslar faced personal tragedy as she was forced to grow up and become mother to her two year old sister.

As the grip of the Nazis tightened on Jewish lives, the author, her sister, father and grandparents were all interred at Westerbork. The only thing that saved them from even harsher treatment was their passports for Israel. Many months later they would be transferred to Bergen Belsen which was hell on earth. We hear of the awful conditions which just got worse and worse. It is in Belsen that Hannah Pick-Goslar briefly met Anne Frank who was in even worse conditions with her sister Margo. The optimistic Anne was broken, without hope, believing all her family had perished. Had she known her father Otto was alive, she would have had hope.

Hannah Pick-Goslar and her sister were put on the ‘lost train’ which wandered for nearly two weeks before liberation by the Russians.

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The Journey: Big Panda And Tiny Dragon by James Norbury

Serenely Beautiful And Very Wise

The Journey Big Panda And Tiny Dragon by James Norton is a serenely beautiful book and full of wisdom to help us lead lives of contentment.

Big Panda is very wise. He helps to calm Tiny Dragon by imparting knowledge as the pair travel from their home across the river. Tiny Dragon wonders why Big Panda is so wise. Big Panda tells him that he has lived longer and experienced more.

We learn that our past does not have to be our future. “Where it’s been doesn’t have to determine where it’s going.” We learn from the past as we move forwards.

Life is a journey. Life is better in the company of friends. “Together we can do anything.” Together we are stronger.

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Winston And The Marmalade Cat by Megan Rix

Totally Charming

Winston And The Marmalade Cat by Megan Rix is a perfectly charming historical novel and just perfect for ages ten years and over. No matter what your age, if you are an animal lover, this book is for you.

The action is set in 1962 and is grounded in fact as we meet Sir Winston Churchill and hear of some of the animals he has rescued.

We follow a young boy who volunteers for the RSPCA and who rescues a small kitten whom he names, Little Houdini. The pair form a bond. As the kitten’s name suggests, he is a bit of an escape artist!

Chartwell, Sir Winston’s home is in Kent. The reader ‘visits’ the grounds due to some very descriptive passages from Megan Rix.

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The Air Raid Girls At Christmas by Jenny Holmes

The Lights Will Come On Again

The Air Raid Girls At Christmas by Jenny Holmes is a delightful historical novel set during the weeks leading up to Christmas 1941. It is the second book in the Air Raid Girls series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The action takes place in a small Yorkshire town on the coast. We witness residents pulling together in their fight against Hitler. On the whole there is a solidarity and a sense of community.

All is not a bed of roses as there are those with racial prejudice, believing every German is an enemy alien. They do not take in the facts of those who are German but Jewish who fled persecution in Germany, only to be treated unfairly in England. Fortunately, kind hearts outweigh those who are black-hearted.

There is the theme of unmarried mothers. The act of how a pregnancy occurred is not taken into account. The father is not blamed but guilt and shame heaped upon the innocent. In contrast we see those with kind hearts who are determined to love and support and help heal those with broken spirits. It is shameful the way unmarried pregnant girls are treated by those who should know better as they are hidden away in homes run by the church.

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