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Someday We Will Fly
by Rachel DeWoskin




Overview -
From the author of Blind, a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story set during World War II in Shanghai, one of the only places Jews without visas could find refuge.

Warsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is fifteen when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn't understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive?

Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when her family was circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a gentlemen's club without her father's knowledge.

But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?

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More About Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin

 
 
 

Overview

From the author of Blind, a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story set during World War II in Shanghai, one of the only places Jews without visas could find refuge.

Warsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is fifteen when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn't understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive?

Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when her family was circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a gentlemen's club without her father's knowledge.

But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670014965
  • ISBN-10: 0670014966
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: January 2019
  • Page Count: 368
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Someday We Will Fly

In Someday We Will Fly, Rachel DeWoskin presents a perspective of World War II that is seldom represented in contemporary classrooms—the Jewish people who found refuge in Japanese-occupied China, one of the last places to accept European refugees without visas.

In 1940, both Warsaw and Shanghai were situated within countries that were devoured by conquering nations, and both cities were populated by those who were either ignored or shunned by the rest of the world. Fifteen-year-old Lillia Kazka has a good life in Poland, performing with her parents in an acrobatic circus and attending school with her friends. But everything changes when her mother is taken by Nazis during a raid on their final circus performance, and Lillia, her father and her disabled younger sister are forced to set out on a multi-month journey to reach Shanghai. Although Lillia is free from Nazi violence and persecution when she first arrives in China, she finds that life in an occupied country so far from home is anything but comfortable or easy.

Meticulously researched and breathtakingly detailed, Someday We Will Fly is based on real accounts of Jewish refugees living in Shanghai and the difficult conditions they endured in order to survive. DeWoskin beautifully intertwines Lillia’s hope, pain, joy, sorrow and love with the larger narrative of the war-torn world’s fear and uncertainty. DeWoskin gives a voice to tens of thousands of forgotten people as she uncovers their stories and experiences. This is essential reading.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

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