Peter's War: A Boy's True Story of Survival in World War II Europe
Peter's War: A Boy's True Story of Survival in World War II Europe

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Annotation: A true account of a Jewish-German boy's survival during World War II describes how his family fled Nazi persecution throughout Europe before the capture of his parents forced him to fend for himself during the hardest times of the war.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #214084
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8234-2416-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7879-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8234-2416-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7879-4
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2012006580
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Sympathetic and brave French citizens help a Jewish boy survive World War II.Born in Germany to comfortable and nonobservant Jewish parents, Peter Feigl has a good life. When Hitler comes to power, however, they move to Czechoslovakia, Austria, Belgium, and finally France in search of safety. When, ultimately, Peter's parents are deported to Auschwitz, Peter finds shelter with French families on La Montagne Protestante, among a community of Huguenots. What follows is a harrowing time of hiding, tricking German soldiers, and finally being spirited to safety in Switzerland. Peter kept two diaries in which he recorded his feelings and activities, excerpts from which appear throughout. In an epilogue and notes, the authors provide more detailed and very accessible background information on French Resistance activities, the diaries, and the Holocaust as it affected one Jewish child who was in fact baptized. The account of their interviews with Peter should fascinate readers and perhaps encourage them to undertake similar projects. Graphite-and-watercolor illustrations complement the inclusion of many black-and-white photographs. This is a valuable addition to the shelves of Holocaust literature, highlighting both the single-minded determination of the Germans and the heroic efforts of one French community. Peter, who is multilingual, worked with the French Resistance and eventually moved to America, where he frequently speaks to groups about his wartime experiences.An important, well-written account of survival against overwhelming odds. (map, bibliography, recommended resources) (Biography. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6 Peter Feigl, a German Jewish boy separated from his parents during World War II, fled from country to country to evade capture by the Nazis. This brief recounting is based on his personal diaries and interviews with the authors. Despite a thoroughly researched topic, there are several writing and formatting flaws that make this an imperfect package. The story itself is often so abbreviated that it fails to capture an appropriate sense of action or emotion. For example, "Peter's father was temporarily released from a prison camp because he was very ill. When he joined them in Auch, Peter was thrilled, but he constantly worried that his father might be sent back." The use of complex vocabulary assumes prior understanding and basic knowledge of topics such as European geography, religion, and chronology of the war, which is not provided. Words such as chancellor , Gestapo , baptized , strafing , and draconian are used without the aid of a glossary or pronunciation guide. Small images of Peter's diaries, which miraculously survived and are housed in the National Holocaust Museum, are included, along with a virtual "scrapbook" of black-and-white photos of Peter, his parents, and classmates. Supplemental watercolor illustrations in muted earth tones soften the impact and urgency implied in the text. VERDICT Despite writing and format imperfections, this is an important primary source story of a young refugee during World War II. Purchase where demand in this subject area is strong. Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This oversize picture-book memoir tells the story of Peter Feigl, a 12-year-old boy fleeing the Nazis during WWII. His family's odyssey began in Berlin and continued on to Czechoslovakia, Austria, Belgium, and France, where his parents were arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Peter was left alone, and he hid in various schools and orphanages until he made it to freedom in Switzerland. Substantial text fills in historical and political background, but more compelling are the photos and excerpts from Peter's diaries, where he writes to his absent parents and records his daily experiences. This account is based on interviews conducted by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum oral history project, and extensive chapter notes provide additional details. The soft pastel illustrations stand in stark contrast to the scenes they portray: Peter innocently giving the Nazi salute at a rally; Peter watching his father bicycle away for the last time. This affecting compilation will help young readers put a human face on an unfathomable tragedy, as Peter's personality shines through in his writing. This accessible tribute is an important addition to children's Holocaust literature.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (1/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-37) and index.
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: 840L

The harrowing true story of a German-Jewish boy who had to survive World War II on his own, separated from his parents as they fled the Holocaust.

In 1942, as twelve-year-old Peter Feigl and his family tried to disappear in the Southern Zone of France, his parents were arrested.

They had been constantly on the run for years, as Hitler consolidated power and overran Europe. Peter and his family fled from Germany to Czechoslovakia, then Austria, Belgium, and finally France. They were desperate to stay one step ahead of the Nazis and their concentration camps.

But suddenly, Peter was alone: a spirited child coming of age in hiding during the worst war in modern history. This book follows his incredible journey for survival, and his efforts as a secret resistance fighter.

Beautifully illustrated in a scrapbook style, featuring original artwork alongside historical photographs from Peter's early life, this one-of-a-kind nonfiction picture book offers a very personal look into the lives of young people trying to evade-- and resist-- the Nazis. Excerpts and images from Peter's diary of those years add irreplaceable, first-hand details to the account of his survival.

The acclaimed nonfiction duo of Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix, creators of Hidden on the Mountain and The Grand Mosque of Paris, have crafted an enthralling account, filled with meticulous research and informed by the authors' own interviews with Feigl. Accessible and detailed, this will inspire young readers and offer a new perspective on a frequently studied era of history.

Featuring more than ten pages of supplementary backmatter-- including an epilogue, extensive historical notes, a wealth of recommendations for further reading, and a comprehensive list of sources and credits-- Peter's War is a masterful resource, and an incredible, unforgettable true story.
A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year!

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