Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140369678, Paperback)
From Publishers Weekly
Siegal takes up where she left off in Upon the Head of the Goat, the Newbery Honor book that etched on readers' minds the fate of Hungarian Jews under the Nazis. Now Hitler's thugs have fled Bergen-Belsen in 1945, leaving Piri Davidowitz, her sister Iboya and the other prisoners to be freed by the British army. Piri is starving and critically ill, sent to a hospital to recover and, after a long time, released to go with Iboya to Sweden. The girls find work and Piri believes she has found a home with gentle people she calls Mamma and Papa. She falls in love, too, and it's hard for her to decide, finally, to sail with Iboya to a new life in the U.S. The book ends aboard ship where Piri and a young man, Fritz, are conversing. He exonerates all the Germans, blaming only Hitler ("with his sick brain") of complicity in the murders of 11 million people. It's stunning to compare Fritz's posture to the British liberators' outrage and grief at witnessing the conditions in the camp, the dead and dying victims of the glorious Third Reich.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up The author of Upon the Head of the Goat: a Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944 (Farrar, 1981) continues her autobiography in this outstanding description of the years just after the war. The book opens on the eve of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen and recounts Piri's experiences as a patient in a Red Cross hospital; as a student in a Swedish school for refugees; and as the adopted daughter of a loving Christian family in the Swedish countryside. Piri has survived in large part because of the support of her older sister, Iboya. Siegal emphasizes the bond between the two sisters and between them and their fellow survivors as they search for remaining friends and family and attempt to rebuild their lives. The book concludes poignantly, as Piri and Iboya leave their new friends in Sweden for America, where relatives they've never met await them. The narrative gracefully interweaves political and philosophical issues with universal adolescent concerns. One major theme, for example, is the search for identity, which is expressed among the various survivors through Zionism, assimilation and religion. In Piri, the trauma of losing her family, home and way of life is exacerbated by the normal problems of burgeoning adulthood. Some readers may be confused by the many people and places who are mentioned but not identified , but Siegal's strong characterizations, perceptive observations and compelling storytelling more than make up for this weakness. A moving, thought-provoking story. Ruth Horowitz, Notre Dame Academy Girls High School Library, Los Angeles
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.