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Making Bombs for Hitler
Cover of Making Bombs for Hitler
Making Bombs for Hitler
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Lida thought she was safe. Her neighbors wearing the yellow star were all taken away, but Lida is not Jewish. She will be fine, won't she? But she cannot escape the horrors of World War II. Lida's parents are ripped away from her and she is separated from her beloved sister, Larissa. The Nazis take Lida to a brutal work camp, where she and other Ukrainian children are forced into backbreaking labor. Starving and terrified, Lida bonds with her fellow prisoners, but none of them know if they'll live to see tomorrow. When Lida and her friends are assigned to make bombs for the German army, Lida cannot stand the thought of helping the enemy. Then she has an idea. What if she sabotaged the bombs... and the Nazis? Can she do so without getting caught? And if she's freed, will she ever find her sister again? This pulse-pounding novel of survival, courage, and hope shows us a lesser-known piece of history — and is sure to keep readers captivated until the last page.
Lida thought she was safe. Her neighbors wearing the yellow star were all taken away, but Lida is not Jewish. She will be fine, won't she? But she cannot escape the horrors of World War II. Lida's parents are ripped away from her and she is separated from her beloved sister, Larissa. The Nazis take Lida to a brutal work camp, where she and other Ukrainian children are forced into backbreaking labor. Starving and terrified, Lida bonds with her fellow prisoners, but none of them know if they'll live to see tomorrow. When Lida and her friends are assigned to make bombs for the German army, Lida cannot stand the thought of helping the enemy. Then she has an idea. What if she sabotaged the bombs... and the Nazis? Can she do so without getting caught? And if she's freed, will she ever find her sister again? This pulse-pounding novel of survival, courage, and hope shows us a lesser-known piece of history — and is sure to keep readers captivated until the last page.
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Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.2
  • Lexile:
    760
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 28, 2016
    Originally published in Canada in 2012, this grim novel from Skrypuch (Last Airlift) offers an inside look at a little-known aspect of WWII: the Nazis’ capture of millions of non-Jewish youths, many of them Ukrainian, who were forced to become slave laborers, known as Ostarbeiters. While most were older teenagers or in their 20s, some were as young as 12—or younger, like 10-year-old narrator Lida, who pretends to be 13 to avoid an even-worse fate. Orphaned before the book opens, Lida and her five-year-old sister, Larissa, are separated in the early pages; after that, Lida and her fellow child laborers endure relentless days of cruelty—cold, hunger, filth, abuse, and grueling work—punctuated by deaths. Transferred from one taxing assignment to another, the children form deep bonds, supporting and caring for each other, but Lida’s desperate anxiety about Larissa is a constant heavy backdrop to her bleak existence, and to the novel. The story’s unyielding harshness is somewhat mitigated by its strong undercurrent of friendship and loyalty; an author’s note gives further background on this important piece of history. Ages 8–12. Agent: Dean Cooke, Cooke Agency.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2016
    "You can make beauty anywhere," Lida's mother always used to say, but can Lida retain her humanity as a young Ukrainian child in a Nazi slave labor camp during World War II?Though she's only 9 and not even Jewish, Lida Ferezuk is part of a group of Ukrainian young people rounded up by the Nazis anyway. Heartbreakingly separated from her younger sister, Larissa, Lida eventually lands in a German labor camp. "Figure out a skill" her new friend Luka advises. "And say that you're older." Lida saves herself by posing as 13 and demonstrating her sewing expertise. Eventually she is forced to make bombs, which she cleverly comes to sabotage. Despite multiple hardships, Lida never gives up searching for her beloved sister. Employing a close third-person narration, Ukrainian-Canadian author Skrypuch draws on real-life stories of survivors in telling Lida's poignant tale, and she creates a cast of young people who are devoted to one another in both thought and deed. She also sheds light on history emerging since the dissolution of the Soviet Union: Ostarbeiters ("eastern workers"), mostly from eastern Ukraine, who were persecuted by both the Nazis and, later, Stalin, if they attempted to return to their homeland after the war. A well-told story of persistence, lost innocence, survival, and hope. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2016

    Gr 6-8-This stark novel follows Stolen Child with another story depicting the horrors faced by children in Nazi work camps. Lida is determined to watch out for her little sister, Larissa, but she's rendered unconscious soon after being captured by Nazi soldiers. She awakens to find herself in a dark, filthy railroad car jammed with other Ukrainian children. Lida is one of the "lucky ones" because soldiers have decided she can be of value to them. She is devastated that she has been separated from her younger sister and can only fear the worst. Even though the other children in the railroad car are strangers to one another, they all quickly bond. Once they reach the end of their journey, Lida and her new friends are herded into a labor camp, divided up, and given various tasks. The children come to realize they will be worked until they are too weak to function, then killed. Lida works in a factory making bombs that will be used to kill soldiers who are fighting to end the Nazi reign. With tremendous courage, Lida and her friends begin a sabotage plan, despite the threat of death if they are discovered. Students will admire Lida's pluck amid such heinous conditions. Scenes of the labor camp convey the horrors without graphic description. VERDICT An absorbing read about the lesser-known Ukrainian experience during World War II, this is a solid choice for curricular ties and for middle school historical fiction collections.-Julie Shatterly, W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books dictionary - ''Lida thought she was safe.''- This book is so emotional! The fact that the author had asked someone to tell them about their story, their story about getting captured by Hitler and basing it off of a book, is incredible. Lida has been captured by the Nazi and separated from her sister Larissa. Now she has been taken to a camp with other kids like her. When they get there, children under 12 are separated in one group, and over 12 in another. An older kid told her to lie to them about your age, say you're older. They say if you're older, you're useful. And how she knows this? This isn't the first time she was captured by the Nazi. But when Lida's friend gets an idea to sabotage the bombs they are assigned to make, it may work. They tell them they are watched all times. But they can carry dirt and dump it into the bombs. The idea actually works. Soon Lida and her friends who survived get rescued by the American army. But what about Larissa? Fortunately, Lida gets a letter from her sister saying she got rescued and is in Canada! This book was so detailed and I would definitely give it a 5/5 rating. I recommend this to people interested in the Nazi and Adolf Hitler.
  • Booklist

    December 15, 2016
    Grades 5-8 Lida isn't Jewish, but that doesn't stop the Nazis from tearing her away from her younger sister, Larissa, and taking her to a labor camp with other boys and girls from Ukraine. Although she is treated as subhuman, Lida steps up to the task of survival. She lies about her age and avoids being selected as not useful, works in the laundry as a seamstress, and keeps her head down. Eventually, however, she is reassigned to a factory that manufactures bombs for Hitler. Lida is horrified at the prospect until she realizes that she and the other girls in the factory have an opportunity to do something for the Allied effort: sabotage the bombs. Lida's story is compelling, and her first-person narrative captures her transformation from a fearful child to a strong, determined young adult. Skrypuch describes the camp in vivid detail, and an author's note provides some additional background about Soviet children forced into labor camps during WWII. Inspired by real, historical accounts, this is a powerful, harrowing story of transformation.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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Making Bombs for Hitler
Making Bombs for Hitler
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
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