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When the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler

When the World Was Ours (edition 2021)

by Liz Kessler (Author)

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302651,159 (4.25)None
Title:When the World Was Ours
Authors:Liz Kessler (Author)
Info:Aladdin (2021), 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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When The World Was Ours by Liz Kessler


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This is a powerful book about three young children and the ways that the Holocaust totally changed their lives.
It's based on the true story of the author's father's escape from Europe in 1939. The children are nine when the story begins and don't really understand what's going on in Vienna - they feel that they own the world as they know it.

Leo, Max and Elsa are best friends and are sure that their friendship will last forever. But Austria is in the midst of change after the Nazis take over the country and their friendship is sorely tested. Leo is Jewish and lives with his parents in a nice part of town. The family is very close to each other and as Leo starts seeing the results in the streets of the Germany hatred of the Jewish people, he becomes fearful, When his father is arrested, he and his mother try to find a way out of the country to safety. Their struggle to get out is unbelievable and difficult. Elsa is also Jewish and her family moves to Prague early in war because they feel that they will be safer there. But when the Germans invade, their lives become hell as they are moved into the ghetto. Leo is completely different - not only is he not Jewish but his father is a high ranking member of the Gestpo. Leo has always tried to get acceptance from his father and follows his example by changing his beliefs and learning to believe as his father does. Even though all three of the friends frequently think about each other, their lives have gone in totally different directions as they realize that the world is no longer theirs and that friendship will not endure forever.

This is a heartbreaking story seeing the innocence and friendship of the children is totally destroyed by the terrible happenings in their country. They went from being young and idealistic to being older than their years by what they experienced. This is a story of love and friendship, hate and war and the effects that it has on children. The three main characters were very well written and memorable. This novel is classified as YA but it would be meaningful to anyone to read the story of loss of innocence during a horrific time in our world history. ( )
  susan0316 | Apr 20, 2021 |
I am gutted! I have just finished "When The World Was Ours" and now I am emotionally drained and mentally exhausted. I have read a number of YA novels set during the holocaust and this is definitely the best by far. It is one of those rare finds that will stay with me for a long, long time. I started this book with a sense of foreboding which continued to grow the more I read and I guessed how it would end. I kept hoping I would be wrong . . . I wasn't!

"When The World Was Ours" is a must read for everyone to ensure history is never repeated. A powerful read. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Mar 8, 2021 |
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