Monday, June 13, 2011

Black Radishes, by Susan Lynn Meyer

Living in Paris in 1941 is not easy, and is downright dangerous if you are Jewish. Gustave and his parents flee the city and drive south to Saint-Georges, a small town where they plan to stay until they can leave Europe and sail to America. Their hopes of being safe in this town are dashed when they are forced to register as Jews, and realize that there is much anti-Semitism among the French as well as the Germans. Food is very scarce, and Gustave's father is forced to barter for almost everything that they need. Crossing the border to do this is fraught with danger. Gustave himself is involved in a suspenseful bicycle trip to help a member of the French Resistance.

The tension is palpable throughout this novel. The heartbreak and terror that so many families lived with on a daily basis are brought to life in small and large ways. Their courage was extraordinary. 2010.

M. Cooney

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