Jewish Values: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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207 p.
Memories of Nazi crimes loom heavily over this novel for mature teens, written by one of Germany’s foremost writers for young people (Anne Frank: A Hidden Life; Malka, Shylock’s Daughter). Johanna returns from a school trip to Israel shaken by an encounter with a Holocaust survivor who accuses her grandfather – “that goddamned Nazi” - of having stolen her parents’ business. Johanna’s family’s life revolves around that business, an up-scale clothing store, and it is the source of all of the privileges that she has known growing up in contemporary Germany. When she tries to pry the truth out of her father, he reacts with fury, insisting that the store was purchased and not stolen and telling her to “let sleeping dogs lie.” But she doesn’t and that is the conflict that drives the plot of this intense story of injustice, denial, inherited guilt and its effect on one intelligent and introspective young woman. Johanna’s character is delineated with subtlety and understanding, along with most of the other characters, a few of whom are Jewish, who have a part in the story, which is colored in shades of gray rather than in black and white.
10:1-932425-84-5; 13:978-1-932425-84-0
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Sydney Taylor Winner: 
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