What a truly remarkable work of children's historical fiction this is! 'Anna at War' by Helen Peters is thrilling and gut-wrenchingly emotional. It is a fine example of the genre; full of lessons and truths for both young and old.
At the beginning of the Second World War life in Germany is perilous for the Jewish community. After the devastating Night of the Long Knives, Anna is sent by her parents on the Kindertransport to escape to safety in Kent, in England. But as the war progresses and Germany starts its attack, can Anna find a new sense of belonging and prove her worth as a German refugee?
Quite simply 'Anna at War' is a stunning, poignant and fascinating read, which deserves the highest acclaim. It is a brilliant example of what children's fiction - or indeed fiction of any kind- can achieve. In today's society stories about persecution, fleeing war zones and building trust with each other feel more and more vital, and this is no exception. Peters excels in reminding us about the horrors of recent European history through the eyes of Anna - a protagonist that puts all others to shame. Both vulnerable and courageous, Anna is a character we should all remember and learn from. The beginning chapters, set in Germany, are raw and nearly brought me to tears. The weight of history is truly heavy; the stakes and dangers incomprehensible. But through this, Peters manages to show us hope and heart; something everyone must learn from.
'Anna at War' is a story that should be recommended to all children in Upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 when learning about the Second World War. There are so many discussion points, while the story never lets up and constantly grips from the first page. Emma Carroll, you have a truly worthy contender to your throne!