Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Good-bye Marianne: A Story of growing up in Nazi Germany

Good-bye Marianne: A Story of growing up in Nazi Germany

Irene N. Watts
Historical Fiction
For ages 8 to 12
Tundra Books, 1998   ISBN: 978-0887764455

It seems as if with every passing day something more is taken away from her by the Nazis. Marianne has watched as signs saying “Aryans only” and “Jews not wanted here” have appeared all over the city. Now she has been told that she cannot go to school any longer. Though she won’t miss the math tests, she will miss her friends and all the wonderful times they have shared together. What is going to happen now?

What happens turns out to be more drastic than Marianne could ever have imagine. With no warning at all Marianne’s mother tells her that she has made arrangements for Marianne to join the Kindertransporte. Marianne and many other mostly Jewish children are being sent out of Germany to the relative safety of England. There they will be taken in by local families until the children can be reunited with their own families – if they have one. Marianne is devastated to be separated from her mother and father but she accepts that this is just another horrible event which must be borne, somehow.

In this very moving and beautifully written story readers will discover what it was like to be a Jewish child in Nazi Germany. They will come to appreciate how terrifying it was to live in such a place at such a dark time, and to understand how miserable it was for families to be broken apart the way they were.