Sunday, 25 January 2009

Michael Morpurgo: Waiting for Anya

The book's story about the occupied French village near the Spanish border is quick, heart-rendering, violent, and yet hopeful! Also, although the German occupation and the Germans' treatment of POW and Jews is depicted, none of it is too cruel to put off young readers...Strongly recommended!

Jo lives in a village on the French/Spanish border in the Pyrenees mountains during the German occupation of France in the Second World War. Early on the meets Benjamin, a man trying to smuggle Jewish children across to safety in Spain. Benjamin was separated from his daughter Anya when they fled Paris, but hopes that one day she will find her way to the cottage. German soldiers soon occupy the village and the people are warned anyone helping Jews across the border will be shot. Jo continues to help Benjamin in absolute secrecy, despite the danger. Together they have to find another way to get the children into Spain, and risk everything to ask the whole village to join in the plan. Just a few days later, the war ends, and Benjamin's daughter Anya, finally, comes home to the mountain cottage.

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