12 year old Jutta Salzberg lives in Germany in 1938. She likes going to school and being with her friends and having fun – just like you. Jutta lives in 1938 though, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were in power. Hitler and the Nazis were responsible for the oppression and killing of Jewish people in Germany from 1941-1945. Jutta and her family are Jewish and try to live normally even though rules keep being passed that make their Jewish customs and way of life illegal. Finally, Jutta’s dad realizes that the only way they will survive is to leave everything and everyone they know and try to get to America.
In this book Jutta tells about her last year in Germany as she gradually says goodbye to all of the things and people she knows. Her friends leave one by one, because Jutta’s Dad is not the only Dad who fears what will happen to his familyi f they stay. Jutta doesn’t just tell you what happened though. This book is Jutta’s real autograph book. Young girls at this time in Germany kept autograph books which they would pass to each other to leave messages – kind of like Facebook on paper.
Jutta was a real girl and it is her daughter, Debbie Levy, who shares Jutta’s book with us. In the authograph book you can read messages that Jutta’s friends wrote that give you glimpses into the scary things that are happening around them. It ‘s hard to imagine that grown-ups would purposely hurt children in this way, but they did.
At the end, Debbie then tells what happened to each of the girls in the book, the girls that were Jutta’s friends before they all had to try to make an escape to safety. Of the 30 people mentioned in the book, only half of them survive. This one might bring some tears to your eyes, but it will make you feel really good too knowing that friendship can survive really terrible situations.
- Read an Interview with Debbie Levy
|Here are some stories of other kids who were caught in the war just like Jutta. Kids who were sent away, hidden or had to run away. Anne Frank is also a real girl who left behind a very famous diary.|