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Stones on a Grave
Cover of Stones on a Grave
Stones on a Grave
Sara has never been out of the tiny town of Hope, Ontario, where she has been in an orphanage all her life. After a fire destroys the orphanage, clues about her parentage—a medical certificate and a Star of David—lead her to Germany. Despite her fears—she doesn't speak the language, she knows no one in Germany, and she's never been on an airplane—Sara arrives in Germany determined to explore her newly discovered Jewish heritage and solve the mystery of her parentage. What she encounters is a country still dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust. With the help of a handsome, English-speaking German boy, she discovers the sad facts of her mother's brief existence and faces the horrible truth about her father. Ultimately, the knowledge she gains opens up her world and leads her to a deeper understanding of herself.
Sara has never been out of the tiny town of Hope, Ontario, where she has been in an orphanage all her life. After a fire destroys the orphanage, clues about her parentage—a medical certificate and a Star of David—lead her to Germany. Despite her fears—she doesn't speak the language, she knows no one in Germany, and she's never been on an airplane—Sara arrives in Germany determined to explore her newly discovered Jewish heritage and solve the mystery of her parentage. What she encounters is a country still dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust. With the help of a handsome, English-speaking German boy, she discovers the sad facts of her mother's brief existence and faces the horrible truth about her father. Ultimately, the knowledge she gains opens up her world and leads her to a deeper understanding of herself.
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  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    750
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4


About the Author-
  • Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her books about the holocaust for young readers, including Hiding Edith, The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, Clara's War and The Underground Reporters. A former psychologist, Kathy tours North America speaking to young people about the importance of remembering the Holocaust. For more information, visit www.kathykacer.com.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2015
    Secrets can hide painful truths, as a young woman learns in this novel set in 1964. After the Ontario orphanage she lives in burns down, 18-year-old Sara is left with questions: where to go? What to do? More questions develop when the matron reveals the details of Sara's birth. She isn't Canadian but German-and Jewish. Her mother was liberated from a concentration camp but died shortly after giving birth. Armed only with the name of the doctor who falsified her medical records so she could leave Germany and her mother's Star of David necklace, Sara sets off for Germany to find answers. But in a country still recovering from its actions during the Holocaust, no one wants to talk. Only Peter, a friendly boy who speaks English, and Frau Klein, everyone's substitute Jewish grandmother, will help Sara find the shocking truth about her past. And once she looks to the past, she can see her future. Sara occasionally feels too young for her age, even given the time period and her small-town upbringing. Nevertheless, the story offers an unusual glimpse into a Germany just one generation past the Holocaust and only beginning to deal with its repercussions.Part of the interconnected Secrets series, the novel is a quick, easy read about a little-known period. (Historical fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-Two Canadian teens struggle to make their way in the 1960s after a fire destroys their orphanage. Malou, the 16-year-old protagonist of A Big Dose of Lucky, is served a heaping helping of misfortune in the first chapters of this quick read. From harassment by the town thugs to her ultimate triumph in discovering who her parents are, Malou develops from a sheltered waif to a powerful young woman who is proud of her dark skin and is relentless in her pursuit of the truth about her heritage. Jocelyn does not shy away from the central conflicts of race, interracial relationships, or same-sex marriage in this highly engaging work of historical fiction. In Stones on a Grave, Sara is industrious, has big dreams, and is newly 18. Sara's story is narrated in the third person, and that distance may strain readers' willingness to go along for the ride. After the fire, Sara is given a necklace with a Star of David, a little money, and some basic information about her journey to Canada from Germany as an infant refugee of the Holocaust. Once in Germany, Sara finds true love, is reunited with a long-lost relative, and must make a decision about the future she will pursue. Kacer's comparison of healthy and unhealthy relationships may resonate with some readers, as will her themes of survival, both of the Holocaust and of rape. This entry has a plot filled with potential but delivers a less satisfying story than some of the other books in the series. VERDICT An uneven, though often engaging, historical fiction series.-Jodeana Kruse, R. A. Long High School, Longview, WA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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