Memorably set in WWII Ukraine and then Germany, this middle grade novel-in-verse is the story of two sisters who used their talent playing the piano to escape their parents’ fate on the death march to Drobitsky Yar. They hid as students in a prestigious German music school in Berlin through the whole war. One of the authors is the son of the main character, Zhanna Arshanskaya. The book includes family photographs and an afterward about how the story Zhanna had kept secret for decades came to light. It has a list of the music she and her sister played, the role music played in WWII, and lots of source notes. Current events in Ukraine should make this a story of particular interest beyond young readers.
–Rosanne, Annie Bloom’s Books, Portland, OR