Luka is taken from his home in Ukraine and forced into a Nazi labor camp in this graphic middle-grade historical fiction tale. Based on real events that were of course, violent this wouldn’t be an excellent choice for younger readers. I feel like it was realistic and there aren’t a whole lot of books for this age group that covers what the Nazi’s did in the Russia/Ukraine areas. Particularly chilling was a part of the story where the Nazi’s are counting people by religious faith so that they can re-open the “right” amount of Churches and Synagogues. The Jews that showed up when summoned were immediately shot.
Luka is just twelve years old while this is taking place and he fights bravely in the resistance, escapes, gets captured by the Soviet resistance and escapes again. Eventually, he ends up emigrating to Canada with some help from the Red Cross. The entire story is nonstop depressing action. I ended up just being happy that he had a happy ending.
April 24. 2018