40. Stolen Child by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Stolen Child by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Canada)
Companion to Making Bombs for Hitler

Pages: 154 pages
Ages: 9+
Finished: Mar. 5, 2010
First Published: Feb. 1, 2010 (Canada only)
Genre: children's, historical fiction,
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

The woman who said she was my mother was so ill on the ship from Europe that she wore a sickness bag around her neck almost the whole time.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy historical fiction about WWII, especial from a child's point of view.

Comments: This is an extremely compelling story about a subject which I know very little about: The Lebensborn Program. I knew such things were done but haven't really read anything about it before. The story is of Nadia, who moves to Canada with a Ukranian man and woman who are not her parents, after World War II. She must call them Mother and Father, though she knows they are not, but they are kind and loving. Nadia is in somewhat of a state of shock and really doesn't remember any of her past but this book is a slow unraveling of her past as she starts to have flashes of memories from her past that are haunting and confusing, making her question whether she is a Nazi. Her new "parents" assure her she is not and encourage her to keep on remembering, which she does. At the same time, Nadia must also deal with fitting into her new country and its customs which, unfortunately, a couple of children at school make very difficult.

This is a bittersweet story that brings to life an aspect of the Nazi regime that is perhaps not so well known. While not as physically horrifying as other acts the Nazis perpetrated , it is an awful "experiment" that tore families apart, and ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. The book is a compelling read, and coupled with its shortness is a fast read. The book's brevity does not however affect the power of emotion contained within its pages nor the development of Nadia's character. The reader connects with Nadia as a person and feels great anguish with her as she also learns who she is and what has happened to her.

The book ends with an Author's Note which includes just enough historical background to place the story within context and to pique the reader's interest in the subject. I will certainly look twice if I find another book that deals with the same topic. I had never heard of Skrypuch before but after a quick look I see she has written quite a number of historical fiction which all seem to centre around either one of the World Wars and be set in Eastern Europe. I would most definitely read other of her books. Recommended.


  1. Dear Nicola,
    Thank you for your wonderful review of my novel, Stolen Child!

  2. Great review! I'm adding this one to my TBR pile.

  3. I just read this too, and thought it was really well done. Lots of historical fact but that doesn't overwhelm the story, which is really Nadia's emotional journey. I have enjoyed all of Skrypuch's books - she is a great at historical settings & highlighting important parts of our past.

  4. Oh... I really think I have to add this to my 'find somewhere' list. It sounds amazing.

  5. I also loved this book and I am glad to have discovered this author. Here is the link to my review:

  6. This sounds like a great book to read with my daughter. She has read a few WWII books (Lily's Crossing and Willow Run) but I think the Canadian aspect would be of interest to us both.

  7. I haven't read this story, but I did read "Someone Named Eva" by Joan Wolfe which is also a story about a young child in the Lebensborn program. The book is really good and I would recommend it if your interested in the subject.

  8. I'm always looking for new WWII books. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

    I hope it's okay that I linked to your review on the Book Reviews: WWII page on War Through the Generations.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  9. I Read This Book For School It Was Such A Wonderful Book! Good Insits Marsha ! It Was Such A Powerful Book Yet So Short, I Read The Book In 4 Hours! It Was So Good I Couldnt Stop Reading It!!!

    5/5 Even Bought The Book !!!


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