Book review: Making Bombs for Hitler, by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk. Making bombs for Hitler. Scholastic Press, 2017. 230 pgs. $17.99. ISBN: 978-0-545-93191-5. Gr. 6+. P8 Q8

Lida is not Jewish and therefore should be safe, but she is not. She and her younger sister, Larissa, are taken from their home in the Ukraine and then separated by the Germans. Larissa’s story was told in the author’s previous book, Stolen Child. Blonde and blue-eyed, Larissa meets the Aryan specifications and is adopted by a German family. Lida, along with other children, is transported to a work camp in a cattle car. Only nine years old when she arrives, Lida is warned by a woman at the camp to lie about her age. The advice saves her life. The other children’s blood is drained from their bodies to be used to save the lives of German soldiers. The book is a horrific tale about the survival of a young girl in a Nazi work camp. Lida’s survives due to her determination to find her sister. She has several jobs in the camp, one of which was making bombs for Hitler and she determines to sabotage them.

Verdict: There is not a lot of information about German involvement in the Ukraine during WWII. This book could be used as a read aloud to introduce the atrocities of Nazi aggression during WWII.

April 2017 review by Carol Bernardi.

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