Title: The Stolen Ones
Author: Vanessa Curtis
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Genre: Young adult/teen fiction, Historical fiction
Book format: Paperback
Description: My Name is Inge. I am sixteen.
I live with Mama and Papa in Munich. Food is still rationed, though the war ended over ten years ago.
My boyfriend is Jewish. I have to hide this from my parents.
Sometimes I think they are hiding something from me, too. Letters arrive every year on my birthday, but they are not addressed to me.
They are for a girl named KASIA. This is her story.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This book just blew me away when I finished reading it, so much that it took me some time to think of what to write for a review. Inge is sixteen years old and enjoying her life in Munich in 1956. Every year on her birthday a mysterious letter arrives, but her parents always hide these from her. This year there isn’t just a letter at the front door though, but also a strange woman. Inge has no idea who the woman is or what is inside the letters but she’s determined to find out. And what she finds turns her world around forever.
I have to admit I really wanted to read this book after seeing the blurb and knowing already a little of what it’s about. Set in post-war Germany it deals with the aftermath of what happened in the Second World War and Inge finds out that she has been lied to her entire life. I don’t want to reveal what happens in the story, it has a better impact to read the revelations as they happen in the book, but I will say that the book deals with the tough subjects of what the Nazis were doing to children during the war and there is some discussion, although not overly detailed, on what happened in the holocaust.
The book is told from Inge’s point of view, in the first person and it was easy to get into the story right away and like Inge’s character. She’s very determined to find out the truth but when she does her whole family life is torn apart as she struggles to deal with what has happened. Although half way through the story, I struggled to like Inge’s attitude towards her parents, I did feel for her, and the whole story took an exciting route into another country. The way things were described there reminded me of stories I’ve heard from my family and it felt both interesting and accurate to how life was back then in that different country.
The story takes on so many twists that towards the ending, you think the whole story is over, and yet there is another surprise which is not only shocking but gives the very end of the story a satisfying feel. It’s the many twists that keep happening, which I didn’t predict, that just made this book feel so amazing and exciting to read. Despite the horrors of what happened in the Second World War, this book makes what could have been a heart-breaking ending into something positive, but doesn’t shy away from showing what truly happened to the people and the long-term effects of what the Nazis did.
I’d recommend this book to everyone. It’s a good read on its own and gives a good insight into something that many people today don’t know about the war. The book does mention the holocaust and some of what happened to people there, but it’s not overly descriptive or too disturbing to read and there is nothing really offensive in the book, apart from some characters saying derogatory slurs at others, although this shows what was happening at the time. Overall an amazing book that I’d recommend, and one I’ll be reading again!
Would you read this book? Do you enjoy historical fiction? Have you read any books about the Second World War? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂