Monday, April 11, 2022

Bibliophile's Corner

Alias Anna
A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis
by Susan Hood

Flap Copy Description:
She wouldn't be Zhanna.
She'd use an alias.
A for Anna.
A for alive.

When the Germans invade Ukraine, Zhanna, a young Jewish girl, must leave behind her friends, her freedom, and her promising musical future at a world-renowned conservatory. With no time to say goodbye, Zhanna, her sister, Frina, and their entire family are removed from their home by the Nazis and forced on a long, cold death march. When her father bribes a guard, Zhanna escapes with nothing more than her musical talent, her beloved Chopin sheet music, and her father's final plea: "I don't care what you do. Just live." 

My Thoughts:
This recently released middle grade story is already being touted as one of the very best books for young readers about the Holocaust. I couldn't agree more. (Ironically, its release, unknowingly, coincided with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Consequently, it is extremely relevant right now.)  Alias Anna was written in beautiful verse and was co-authored by Greg Dawson - the son of Ukranian-born Zhanna. (Greg Dawson's mother married American, David Dawson, after World War II.) Written like a symphony, the extraordinary story unfolds movement by movement and crescendos in a heartwarming finale. I can't strongly recommend this book enough; fans of history, music, and amazing non-fiction, will love Alias Anna.

Click here to learn about author, Susan Hood.
Click here to learn about journalist and author, Greg Dawson.