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The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen


There are so many different ways in which people survived the Holocaust.   This one at first resembles my own book written for a similar audience: a young girl leaves on the Kindertransport, she and her companions have to take care of a baby, someone is seasick , someone is determined to keep up with their music and the mentor is called Mrs Cohen.  It too is based on a true story.  
Then it is different. The protagonist, Lisa Jura, opts to remain amongst other Jews though she is treated well by her English employers.   

Lisa does well with her music. She is reconciled with both of her sisters but her parents are never found.   

Many stories about the Holocaust span several years so it can be difficult to identify the target reader. This one is about right; it will be readable to teens in the lower half of secondary school and this is precisely when the Holocaust comes on to the curriculum. The text would be very readable by slightly younger children but perhaps the inclusion of a love interest and the Holocaust may prevent this.

Even though the text covers a long period of time it remains engaging with plenty of dialogue and action. We do get to know Lisa quite well. 

This is published by a long established publisher, W Franklin Watts, so its ragged right formatting and rather large indents at the beginning of each paragraph may surprise us. It is double-spaced but uses an adult font.        


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …