Monday, October 12, 2015

Brenda Telford Gives The Children's Train 5 Out of 5 Stars

The Children’s Train by Jana Zinser absolutely blew me away! Heartbreaking, terrifying and traumatic it was also filled with hope and courage, determination and inspiration. Over six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis and many of them were children. Though The Children’s Train is fiction, the sad and tragic truth stands out and stays with you. I know this book will stay with me! The Children’s Train is an absolute credit to this author and I have no hesitation in recommending it extremely highly. 

Peter and his friends Stephen and Hans had a happy life in Berlin, going to school, playing football and for Peter, playing his beloved violin. But change came in the form of Hitler; the Nazis were cruel and vindictive – adult or child, no one was safe from them if they were Jewish. After being banned from their school, the lives of the friends and their parents deteriorated quickly. Peter’s father owned a butcher shop; he was a proud man who had served in the Great War and achieved medals as well. But that didn’t mean a thing to Hitler’s thugs…

Marla and her supporters in London were determined to help the German Jewish children to escape Hitler. They organized the Kindertransport which would leave Berlin, travelling through Holland to the final leg of the journey which would be a ferry to England’s shores and safety. Peter and his sister Becca, along with Stephen and Hans were on one of the first Kindertransports, but Peter’s best friend Eva missed out as her brother William took her seat. 

By the time the Germans closed the borders out of the country, 10,000 Jewish children had been saved. But there were still many more who would suffer along with their parents at the hands of the Nazis. 

As each child was sent to a foster home in London and surrounding areas, the devastation felt by both Peter and Becca was heartbreaking. They had been separated – they had no idea if they would ever see each other again. Along with their parents and baby sister being left in Germany, they no longer had each other for love and support. Peter was taken by a cruel farmer in Coventry who put him to work as his farmhand – he was only eleven years old. Becca had a happier time of it, but missed her family dreadfully.

When the Blitz hit London, lives were to change once again. Older by a few years, Peter’s anger had grown – he was determined to do something; it was time to fight back. He was desperate to find his mother and baby sister; also his best friend Eva – he needed to help in the fight against Hitler and the horrific Nazi regime…

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