Stones On A Grave by Kathy Kacer
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (September 29, 2015)
Synopsis: 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.
Part of the SECRETS—a series of seven linked novels that can be read in any order.
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Sara has spent her life in an orphanage in Hope, Ontario. It has been her home and her sense of stability for 18 years. And then it burns down. Her future is now just as unknown as her past – where will she go and what will she do? The wise words of her headmaster, and an envelope containing information about her past, sends her on a journey across the world to Germany. Sara finds out she is Jewish and she was born right after the Holocaust – and her mother was a survivor. But where is she now?
The book is set in the 1960s and is part of the “secrets” series by Orca Book Publishers – each of the seven books follow one of the orphans as they set out into the world after the Orphanage fire. The author does an amazing job of bringing the reader back into the time period and lifestyle of the 1960s.
With a 12 plus age range printed on the back cover, I think this is a great book to use to teach young adults about the Holocaust. However, there are a lot of gaps in the Holocaust information, which is mostly due to the book taking place in the 1960s when the topic of the Holocaust was not as widely discussed by survivors and educators.
While there were a few points that I found drawn out and a little “wordy”, Stones on a Grave literally had it all: mystery, suspense, intrigue and even a little love story. Definitely a great read for a young reader looking to learn more about history in a few and entertaining way.
*I received this book for free from Orca Books for an honest review*