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The Safest Lie
— —
Angela Cerrito
The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Safest Lie

Angela Cerrito


9780823440467

Random House


Children's & Educational;
General fiction (Children's&YA)


Paperback

192 pages

$12.99
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It's 1940. Nine-year-old Anna Bauman and her parents are among the 300,000 Polish Jews struggling to survive the wretched conditions in the Warsaw ghetto. Anna draws the attention of Jolanta (code name of the real-life resistance spy Irena Sendler, who smuggled hundreds of children out of the ghetto). Jolanta wants to help Anna escape, but first Anna must assume a new identity, that of Roman Catholic orphan Anna Karwolska. Whisked out of the ghetto to a Christian orphanage, Anna struggles to hide her true identity . . . until she slowly realizes that the most difficult part of this charade is not remembering the details of her new life, but trying not to forget the old one entirely.

By:   Angela Cerrito
Imprint:   Random House
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 208mm,  Width: 139mm,  Spine: 16mm
Weight:   196g
ISBN:   9780823440467
ISBN 10:   082344046X
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   March 2019
Recommended Age:   From 8 to 12 years
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  English as a second language
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

ANGELA CERRITO works as a pediatric physical therapist in Germany. She is also the author of The End of the Line, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a VOYA Top of the Top Shelf selection, and is very active in the international children's book community


Basing her story on the admirable work of Irena Sendler, the Polish social worker who provided underground opportunities for 2,500 Jewish children, Cerrito effectively evokes the fears, struggles, and sheer terror these children faced through her protagonist's first-person account, which allows readers into her private thoughts. Anna's three years in hiding encompass much of what these saved children experienced, though many were not always treated with kindness. In a candid concluding portrayal of the psychological cruelty these children faced, Anna learns of her real family's death when she is taken from her foster home to a Jewish agency. Though alive, she is emotionally lost, and readers are left to ponder what the future might hold for this brave girl. Balancing honesty and age-appropriateness, Cerrito crafts an authentic, moving portrait. --Kirkus Reviews Anna's present-tense narrative voice is vivid, and readers will connect with her from the start. From the moment she recommends her friends for scarce vaccinations to her inquiries about a baby she helped rescue years ago, she demonstrates her loyalty. . . . A suspenseful and informative choice for historical fiction fans. --School Library Journal Cerrito succeeds particularly in distilling the WWII experience from a child's point of view: the horrors are slightly muted because they are all Anna's ever known. . . . Readers yearning for Anna's postwar reunion with her family will be faced with the same harsh reality as Anna: precious little of her family survives. Back matter provides further context for the real story of Sendler, whose bravery in the face of danger is inspiring. --Booklist Told from Anna's perspective, this harrowing tale of secrets and survival has a childlike cadence, with poignantly simple observations amid life-altering decisions. . . . Cerrito (The End of the Line) delivers a compassionate introduction to the atrocities of the Holocaust that pays homage to some of the real heroes, particularly social worker Irena Sendler, who risked their lives to save the young. --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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