The Last Train- A Holocaust Story

The Last Train is the harrowing true story about young brothers Paul and Oscar Arato and their mother, Lenke, surviving the Nazi occupation during the final years of World War II.

Maurice And His Dictionary

This is the story of one refugee family’s harrowing journey, based on author Cary Fagan’s own family history. The graphic novel follows a young Jewish boy, Maurice, and his family as they flee their home in Belgium during the Second World War. They travel by train to Paris, through Spain to Portugal, and finally across the ocean to Jamaica, where they settle in an internment camp.

All the while, Maurice is intent on continuing his education and growing up to be a lawyer. He overcomes obstacles to find a professor to study with, works toward a high school diploma while in the camp, and is ultimately accepted to university in Canada. His English dictionary becomes a beloved tool and beacon of hope through the danger and turmoil of the family’s migration.

Moments of lightness and humor balance the darkness in this powerful story of one refugee family’s courage and resilience, and of the dictionary that came to represent their freedom.

Letters From Cuba

The situation is getting dire for Jews in Poland on the eve of World War II. Esther’s father has fled to Cuba, and she is the first one to join him. It’s heartbreaking to be separated from her beloved sister, so Esther promises to write down everything that happens until they’re reunited. And she does, recording both the good–the kindness of the Cuban people and her discovery of a valuable hidden talent–and the bad: the fact that Nazism has found a foothold even in Cuba. Esther’s evocative letters are full of her appreciation for life and reveal a resourceful, determined girl with a rare ability to bring people together, all the while striving to get the rest of their family out of Poland before it’s too late.

Voyages In the Underworld Of Orpheus Black

Harry Black, a conscientious objector, artist, and firefighter battling the blazes of German bombing in London in 1944, wakes in the hospital to news that his soldier brother, Ellis, has been killed. In the delirium of his wounded state, Harry’s mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of war-torn London, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry sets off on a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city’s Underworld.

The Day the World Stopped Turning

In the unique landscape of the Camargue (France) during World War II, Lorenzo lives among the salt flats and the flamingos. There are lots of things he doesn’t understand–but he does know how to heal animals, how to talk to them; the flamingos especially. He loves routine, and music too: and every week he goes to market with his mother. It’s there he meets Kezia, a Roma girl, who helps her parents run their carousel–and who shows him how to ride the wooden horse as the music plays. But then the German soldiers come, with their guns. Everything is threatened, everything is falling apart: the carousel, Kezia and her family, even Lorenzo’s beloved flamingos. Yet there are kind people even among soldiers, and there is always hope.

Under the Broken Sky

When Soviet troops invade Japanese-occupied Manchuria during the last days of World War II, 12-year-old Natsu Kimura must care for her younger sister as they struggle to survive and return to Japan.

Under the Broken Sky is a WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for April 2020.