For most people, the end of World War II in 1945 was a tremendous relief. They no longer needed to fear arrest, abide by curfews, put black shades over their windows at night, or worry about their town being bombed. They could return to a normal life, or at least something closer to normal.
But in many ways, the war continued on. Relatives, friends, and neighbors were missing. There was a serious housing shortage, since so many homes had been burned or bombed. Unemployment was high. Many had what we would call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Nightmares plagued adults and children alike.
At the beginning of this book, World War II has just ended, and 8-year-old Henk is beginning to feel safe. He no longer has to hide, and he is surrounded by a loving family. Imagine his shock and horror when a couple knocks on their farmhouse door one day, says they are his parents, and they want him back.
So Henk loses what he believed was his family – papa, mama, and older brother and sister. He even loses his little kitten. Instead of following the Christian faith, he is told that he needs to put away the little cross he has worn around his neck during the war, and begin learning about the Jewish religion. His real parents call him by his birth name, Benjamin.
This story is based on an actual child who went through this experience. The author did a fantastic job of letting the reader see the post-war world through the eyes of a young boy. This book is suitable for anyone about 3rd grade or older.