Sarah's Stars

Irene N. Watts. Good-Bye Marianne
Tundra  $8.99  ISBN 0-88776-445-2  105 pg.
Reviewed by Darcy, Age 12

Mrs. Kohn took Marianne’s hand and held tight.  “We all have to learn to say good-bye to people we love, and there never seems enough time to prepare.  But I am prepared to live without you, if it means giving you a future.”

Irene N. Watts is a phenomenal author who really captures the feeling and intensity of the holocaust. On December 10,1938, Irene was evacuated through Kindertransport from the horrendous war zone.  Her experiences make her writing so believable and you can tell she really knows what it felt like to be in that appalling position.   I’m not positive about this but I think that her life might have been similar to the one that Marianne lived.

Good-bye Marianne is about Marianne Kohn and her struggles to live in the heart of Berlin, Germany, which at the time was being invaded by Nazis.  Her battle starts when she is dismissed from school because she is Jewish and has different beliefs than others.  The problems with being Jewish force her father into hiding and restrict what Marianne and her cautious mother can do.  As Berlin’s vast destruction continues, her mother volunteers at an orphanage where she prepares children to take part in the Kindertransport. One day Mrs. Kohn gets a call offering Marianne a place on the transport as two of the girls have come down with measles.  Will Marianne take the offer even though it separates herself from her mother or will she deny the chance of a lifetime to stay beside her mother?

Good-bye Marianne no doubt deserves five full bright stars for its unbelievable writing and data.

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