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Orca Immigration and Refugees through May 2023

The Whirlwind
By (author): Carol Matas
Carol Matas


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Young Adult : Age (years) 12, Grade (CAN) 8 - 12, Grade (US) 8 - 12, Reading age 12
Mar 01, 2007
$9.95 CAD


7in x 4.25 x 0.5 in | 120 gr

Page Count:

144 pages
FSC certified – mixed sources C016245
Orca Book Publishers
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Historical / Holocaust
jC813/.54 22
Sydney Taylor Award nominee 2008, Commended McNally Robinson Books for Young People Award nominee 2008, Short-listed Stellar Award nominee 2009, Short-listed
  • Short Description
Ben flees Nazi Germany only to find himself in a battle for his life and his soul.
Ben flees Nazi Germany only to find himself in a battle for his life and his soul.

It is 1941. Fourteen-year-old Ben Friedman flees the horrors of Nazi Germany with his parents and his sister, leaving behind his grandparents, his friends, his home. They make a difficult journey over land and sea all the way to Japan and then to America. In Seattle, Ben dares to hope that he will finally be safe. He finds a friend in John, a Japanese-American boy, but then comes the attack on Pearl Harbor and everything changes. Fear begins to grow in Ben, fear that it is all happening again. Where can he be safe? What should he do? He dreams of Canada, thinking it a haven, only to find that he has nowhere to turn, nowhere to run. Perhaps safety is not where or even what he thinks it is. Perhaps life is not what he imagined at all.

Carol Matas is an internationally acclaimed author of over thirty-five novels for children and young adults. Her best-selling work, which includes three award-winning series, has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Taiwanese, Turkish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, French, Indonesian and Russian. Her work has won numerous awards, and has been twice nominated for a Governor General's Award. More information is available at /www.carolmatas.com

"Confronts a shameful part of World War II history—American's prejudice against German Jewish refugees. ...Effectively moves from fury and blame to understanding and love." - Booklist

"An excellent example of Holocaust literature for young adults...Whether read as an action/adventure novel or as a gateway to learning about a boy's first-hand experiences in World War II. Highly Recommended." - CM Magazine

"This unique and thought-provoking story shows what prejudice and indifference to suffering and wrongdoing can lead to." - School Library Journal

"Matas does a good job of compressing a complex story into not very many pages...Every library that caters to junior high readers show know about this book." - Resource Links

"An issues novel as well as an historical one and the issues aren't easy...A timely look at the treatment of foreign nationals...Aims to be easily accessible." - The Globe and Mail

"A poignant look at what it means to come of age in a world of uncertainty...An excellent choice for teachers...the kind of book adults and adolescents alike will be glad to have read." - KLIATT

"Another winner from the talented Matas." - Jewish Book World

"Teaches an underlying message of tolerance and acceptance through a friendship rare for its time...A well-written, easy read for any level." - Atlanta Jewish Times

"A quiet examination of one boy's struggle to understand the terrible circumstances that have fallen on his family." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Written in an engaging style...the novel introduces well-developed characters faced with compelling issues." - AJL Newsletter

"Part an adventure story, part a story of descent into obsession [it] is also very much a simplified but sophisticated debate on religion and ethics...The Whirlwind attempts a lot and accomplishes a lot." - Kid Lit

"This bold, painful book focuses on controversial issues and darker Pearl Harbor era facts and emphasizes complicated gray areas over simpler black/white scenarios, creating balance and insight for any level reader." - VOYA

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