Editorial Review

Historical Novel Society

Cover: Room for One More

Rosetta Wolfson, second oldest in a family of three girls, loves to listen in on other people’s conversations. She is under the dining table listening when Mr. Schwarzberg, her father’s visitor, tells her father about Nazi atrocities in World War Two, especially the persecution of Jewish people. The Wolfson family, who attend synagogue regularly, agree to make room in their home for a Jewish boy from Germany who has been in an internment camp on an island in the Saint Lawrence River for almost a year.

Isaac is welcomed as a ready-made brother to the three girls. Only Rosetta realizes that he has a story to tell, and slowly, often painfully, Isaac answers her questions.

The friendship between Rosetta and Isaac develops slowly and sometimes uncomfortably with mistakes made on both sides. Rosetta tends to be too probing and insistent on getting answers. Isaac does not find it easy to speak about the horrors he has witnessed. Both have much to learn, Rosetta about respecting boundaries, Isaac about the surprising truth that changes his beliefs about his mother.

This novel for grades 3-7 comes from an experienced author who is respectful of the ideas and developing values of the young people for whom she is writing. Polak gives information about the horrors of Nazi Germany, especially its treatment of Jewish people, through the eyes of a teenage boy. The novel is evocative yet sensitive. The concept of accepting other religions and beliefs forms the foundation of the story but never becomes preachy.

Products Reviewed

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Room for One More Fall 2019
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