Thursday, 18 November 2010

What if they find us?

This book was recommended by one of my Year 7 (11 year old) students and it's quite a find: a powerful story from a mainstream publisher which shows Catholics in a very good light.

What if They Find Us, first published as Guardian Angel House in Canada, is based upon the experiences of Kathy Clark's Hungarian Jewish mother and aunt who were saved from the Nazis by the Sisters of Charity in Budapest. The book is part of the 'My True Story' series but it is actually an imaginative reconstruction of the time in fictional form. The book is very well researched and could easily be taught alongside other war literature for children. For all those reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, for example, it would be a great companion piece.

There is a great deal of suspense in this book: Kathy Clark has created real narrative drive, introducing new characters at suitable intervals and leaving us with some well-judged cliffhangers. We really want to know how the children's life in the convent will develop.

As you might expect, there are some terribly sad and moving moments too but it is the faith and heroism of the nuns and children that really shines through. It can be difficult to find good books for our Catholic children. Here's one I'd heartily recommend.

Kathy's website can be found here. As you can see, her British publishers spelt her surname wrongly on the cover of her book. You can order a study guide to What if They Find Us? here.

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