Based on a true story, and from the co-author of Rescuers, the courageous and vividly told story of one boy and the courageous family who risks everything to save him.
Once Jacob Gutgeld lived with his family in a beautiful house in Warsaw, Poland. He went to school and played hide-and-seek in the woods with his friends. But everything changed the day the Nazi soldiers invaded in 1939. Suddenly it wasn't safe to be Jewish anymore.
Left with an aunt when their widowed father escaped Poland in 1940 ("It's not safe for Jewish men...[but] No civilized country would hurt women and children"), Jacob Gutgeid and his brothers were sent to different hiding places outside the Warsaw Ghetto as the Nazis' intentions became evident. In 1941, Alex and Mela Roslan took Jacob in; at the risk of their lives and their children's, they deceived neighbors and German searchers, giving up one home, then another, on Jacob's behalf. His uncle, a doctor, prevailed on them to take in Jacob's brothers: Sholom, who died of scarlet fever, and later David, who - like Jacob - came to love the Roslans as parents. The authors fictionalize this true story with believable dialogue and dramatic scenes (Jacob being smuggled into a hospital for a lifesaving operation; a vicious massacre in retaliation for Partisan activity) and frame it as an explanation to Jacob's daughter, who's meeting the Roslans for the first time - which helps bring the story closer to the present, as do photos of the boys and the Roslans, then and now. The story's immediacy is also enhanced by realistic minor discord - the Roslan boys' initial hostility, Mela's and Alex's debates over the choices they've made. After the war, the boys were sent to their father in Israel; the authorities' callous disregard of their bond with the Roslans is a bitter taste of war's lingering injustice. A fine, authentic account of quietly sustained heroism of the highest order. Afterword. (Kirkus Reviews)
For Ages: 9 - 11 years old
For Grades: 4 - 6
Number Of Pages: 121
Published: 1st August 1994
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.3
Weight (kg): 0.1
Edition Number: 1