hi-lo, ages 9-11, 10-13, upper primary, Key Stage 2, Lower Secondary, Key Stage 3, Bradman Tony historical, World War II, Nazi Germany, refugees, Rex Tania,
The story is set at the end of World War II as the Russians start to occupy Nazi Germany. Bruno’s mother is killed as the Russians attack. Bruno is befriended by the dog Frida, and by an old lady who takes him in for a while. Frida is a suicide bomber dog and Bruno’s first task when he meets her is to remove her vest.
As the Russian occupation takes hold, Bruno has to move on and try and find his grandparents. He has to leave the old lady behind. He never sees her again and he never finds out what happens to her. He writes to her daughter but she does not reply.
Bruno finds his grandparents and goes on to live a happy life. He marries, becomes a doctor and has a family. His granddaughter interviews him about being a refugee. The family are sympathetic towards the Syrian refugees.
This is a Barrington Stoke book and created for less able readers. It is printed on yellow papers. The text is ragged right and the font is plain with simple ‘a’s and ‘g’s. Paragraphs are indented and there is a line between them as well. The chapters are short. There are a few monochrome illustrations that help with understanding of the texts and also expand the story. It is 72 pages long.
Barrington Stoke claims “Our books are tested for children and young people by children and young people.” Usually they commission a known writer to create the text and their own editors then work on it to make it suitable for the target reader.
Tony Bradman offers an historical note at the end and also points out how German attitudes have changed since the end of World War II.