When Karen Hesse came upon a short article about cats out-foxing the
Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during WWII, she couldn't get
the story out of her mind.
The result is this stirring account of a
Jewish girl's involvement in the Resistance. At once terrifying and
soulful, this fictional account, borne of meticulous research, is a
testament to history and to our passionate will to survive, as only
Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse can write it.
About The Author
Karen Hesse (born on August 29, 1952 Baltimore, Maryland) is an
American author of children's literature and literature for young
adults, often with historical settings.
"A young Jewish girl and her sister, "passing" as Polish in WWII Warsaw, plot to sneak food, brought by collaborating train passengers, into the ghetto. Their scheme is jeopardized when the Gestapo meets the train with dogs that sniff out both smugglers and contraband food. To foil the Nazis, the sisters gather up the feral cats of Krasinski Square in baskets. They release the cats as a distraction to the dogs, thus allowing the food to be smuggled into the ghetto. Skilled pacing renders the cat solution a satisfyingly subversive surprise while Watson's illustration of the flummoxed Nazis underscores the ensuing chaos. The illustrations, with their soft but firm line and monochromatic sepia-toned palette, have an appropriate retro look. Among the great historical avalanche of Holocaust stories, Hesse has found a little-known vignette that she treats with her customary modest but elevating free-verse style, making a grave subject enormously accessible, gently humorous, and affectingly triumphant." -- Kirkus Reviews