Brave Deeds: How One Family Saved Many People from the Nazis

When Holland was under Nazi rule, the Dutch lived extremely harsh lives. Thousands were in hiding, especially Jews who had managed to escape transport to the death camps. Frans Braal and his wife Mies took in anyone in need of help — Jews, children whose parents could no longer look after them, resistance fighters, and people who were starving — providing them with a temporary home. Twice their place was searched by the Nazis, and on both occasions they managed to hide everyone in time. Told through the eyes of a child, this is the story of the Braals, two people who willingly put themselves in great danger in order to save the lives of those less fortunate. Throughout, sidebars provide further information about Dutch resistance workers and traitors, Dutch Jews, bombing missions, false identity cards, the war, and more.

Play to the Angel

In February 1938, in Vienna, twelve-year-old Greta Radky is devastated to learn that her mother plans to sell the family piano. Greta’s brother, a concert pianist, died the previous April, and her mother thinks of the piano as his. But Greta is an equally committed musician, and when she meets a mysterious piano teacher who agrees to work with her, she proves it. With his help the piano is saved, and inspired by his tiny angel doll, Greta practices furiously for her first recital. Then, on the day of the performance, the Nazis invade Austria. Suddenly Greta discovers her teacher’s secret and knows that his life is in danger. Having stood up to her mother, Greta must now confront the Nazis.

Anne Frank and Me

The successful play is now a gripping novel. Knocked unconscious after explosions ring out during a field trip to an Anne Frank exhibit, boy-crazy Nicole Burns wakes to find herself living a parallel life as a Jew in 1942 Paris. This Nicole is dating the boy of her present-day dreams, but living under the Nazis gradually becomes a nightmare. Her family survives the Nazi occupation with the help of friends, but when her father is exposed as a resistant, their fate takes a dire turn. The shifts in Nicole’s lives — from a carefree, sophisticated Parisian girl to a wretch riding in a cattle car with Anne Frank; from a modern girl focused only on the drama of her high school life to a thoughtful observer of the potential of everyday injustices — will engage teens and change their views of history found in books and the history we’re making today.