Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Finding Sophie: A Search for belonging in Postwar Britain

Finding Sophie: A Search for belonging in Postwar Britain

Irene N. Watts
Historical Fiction
For ages 8 to 12
Tundra Books, 2002   ISBN: 978-0887766138

Sophie is only seven when she is whisked away from her parents in Germany and taken to England. Because her father was Jewish, Sophie’s parents thought it would be better to get her away from Germany and out of the reach of the Nazi authorities. One of the many children who were chosen to be a part of the Kindertransporte program, Sophie is taken in by a friend of her mother’s, a kind and loving woman whom Sophie calls Aunt Em.

Now seven years later the war is drawing to a close and Sophie begins to worry about what is going to happen to her when peace finally arrives. Sophie does not remember any German and she feels very English. She loves her life in London and most of all she loves Aunt Em. Sophie cannot bear the thought of being separated from the woman whom she considers to be her mother now. At the same time she knows that she cannot simply forget her German parents.

It is hard to imagine what it must have been like to be in England and Europe during WWII. When the conflict ended there was much chaos and confusion as family members tried to find one another in a world that had been turned up side down. Parents did not know if their children were still alive and vice versa and it was a logistical nightmare trying to bring lost family members back together. In this coming of age story readers will find out how hard it was to build new lives once the war was over and how difficult it was for many of the young people to figure out where they now belonged.

This title is the companion book to the two Marianne books: “Good-bye Marianne: A Story of growing up in Nazi Germany,” and “Remember me: A search for refuge in wartime Britain.