Stolen Child

They call her the “Hitler Girl” . . .

Stolen from her family by the Nazis, Nadia is a young girl who tries to make sense of her confusing memories and haunting dreams. Bit by bit she starts to uncover the truth — that the German family she grew up with, the woman who calls herself Nadia’s mother, are not who they say they are. Beyond her privileged German childhood, Nadia unearths memories of a woman singing her a lullaby, while the taste of gingersnap cookies brings her back to a strangely familiar, yet unknown, past. Piece by piece, Nadia comes to realize who her real family was. But where are they now? What became of them? And what is her real name?

This story of a Lebensborn girl — a child kidnapped for her “Aryan looks” by the Nazis in their frenzy to build a master race — reveals one child’s fierce determination to uncover her past against incredible odds.
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Introducting Deborah Underwood: Crystal Kite winner for California and Hawaii!

In celebration of the 4th of July, I am introducing one of the American Crystal Kite winners, Deborah Underwood.

Deborah worked as a street musician, puzzle writer, jewelry maker, and administrative assistant before embarking upon her career as a children’s author. Her books include The Quiet Book, A Balloon for Isabel, Granny Gomez & Jigsaw, and the easy reader Pirate Mom. She co-writes the Sugar Plum Ballerina chapter book series with Whoopi Goldberg, and has written over 25 nonfiction books on topics ranging from smallpox to ballroom dancing.
The Quiet Book, illustrated by Renata Liwska (Houghton Mifflin, 2010) catalogues the various types of quiets that fill a child’s day: everything from first one awake quiet to thinking of a good reason you were drawing on the wall quiet. A companion volume, The Loud Book, was published in 2011.

Introducting Monika Schröder: Crystal Kite winner for the Middle East/India/Asia

Monika Schröder grew up in Germany and has worked as an elementary school teacher and librarian in international schools in Egypt, Oman, Chile and India. She recently moved to the US and now lives with her husband and their dog Frank in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Crystal Kite winning novel, SARASWATI’S WAY, is Monika’s second book and set in contemporary India. 12-year old Akash, who has a gift for math, runs away from his home in rural Rajasthan in search of a better life and ends up as a street child in the New Delhi train station. Monika’s first book, THE DOG IN THE WOOD (Front Street, 2009), was included in the Voya Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers list. Her next novel, MY BROTHER’S SHADOW, will be published in September 2011 and takes place in Berlin at the end of WWI. Visit her at

Crystal Kite winner Kathryn Erskine!

Kathryn Erskine, a lawyer-turned-author, grew up in six countries, an experience that helps her view life, and her writing, from different perspectives.  While covering weighty topics, her books have warmth and humor, making difficult issues approachable.  Her novel, MOCKINGBIRD (Philomel 2010), won the (U.S.) 2010 National Book Award, the 2011 International Reading Association’s Award for Middle Grade Fiction, the 2011 Crystal Kite Award, and other honors.  Her latest novel, THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE (Philomel, June 2011) is a Junior Library Guild selection and ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee.  QUAKING (Philomel 2007) was a 2008 Bank Street Best Book of the Year and a 2008 American Library Association Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.  She is a writing instructor and frequent workshop presenter.  And she eats way too much chocolate.

MOCKINGBIRD is the story of tolerance and healing as Caitlin, a girl with Asperger’s, comes to terms with the death of her beloved older brother after a school shooting.

Would you like to follow Kathryn’s blog? It’s here.

Crystal Kite winners from around the world. First up: Claire Saxby

One of the best things about winning the Crystal Kite is that I have been initiated into an amazingly talented group of fellow winners. From around the world, there are 15 of us in all, and I would like to introduce each of them on my blog.

First is Claire Saxby, the Crystal Kite winner for Australia and New Zealand. Congratulations, Claire!!!

And here is her winning book:

Claire Saxby writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children. Her poetry appears in magazines, anthologies, on train walls and in museum education resources.

Claire’s picture book publications include Ebi’s Boat (Windy Hollow Books), illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, which was a CBCA Notable Book in 2007. Her most recent picture book is There Was an Old Sailor (Walker Books Australia), a nautical take on an old rhyme, illustrated by Cassandra Allen. It was shortlisted for the 2010 Speech Pathology Awards and for the 3rd Korean Picture Book Award, and won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Australia/New Zealand region. Her most recent book is Freaky Fact or Fiction: Human Body (Hinkler Books), the first of her books to combine her health-worker past and her writing present.