The Nazis took Luka from his home in Ukraine and forced him into a labor camp. Now, Luka has smuggled himself out — even though he left behind his dearest friend, Lida. Someday, he vows, he’ll find her again.
But first, he must survive.
Racing through the mountains, Luka evades capture by both Nazis and Soviet agents. When he meets the underground Ukrainian Insurgent Army, he knows that is where he belongs: fighting Nazis and Soviets alike. But the desperate rescues and guerilla raids put Luka back in the line of fire. Can he persevere long enough to find Lida again or make it back home where his father must be waiting for him?
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, author of Making Bombs for Hitler, delivers another action-packed story of daring quests and fights for survival. Inspired by true stories, this novel is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of war.
Krystia’s family is hiding Jews from the invading Nazis, but the risks are immense. How much will she risk for her friends? A gripping story based on true events.
During the Soviet occupation of Ukraine during World War II, some of Krystia’s family are harrassed; others are arrested and killed. When the Nazis liberate the town, they are welcomed with open arms. Krystia’s best friend Dolik isn’t so sure. His family is Jewish and there are rumours that the Nazis might be even more brutal than the Soviets.
Shortly after the Nazis arrive, they discover a mass grave of Soviet prisoners and blame the slaughter on the Jews. Soon, the Nazis establish ghettoes and begin public executions of Jews.
Krystia can’t bear to see her friends suffering and begins smuggling food into the ghetto. When rumours circulate that the ghetto will be evacuated and the Jews will be exterminated, Krystia must decide if she’s willing to risk her own family’s safety to save her friends. Continue reading “Don’t Tell The Enemy”
Kataryna Balyk, a gifted fine arts student, is hoping to have a fresh start at Cawthra School for the Arts, after a less-than-successful year at the neighbouring Catholic high school.
But her hopes for a peaceful grade ten are shattered when she comes home from one of her first days at Cawthra and finds the RCMP interrogating her grandfather Danylo Feschuk. Kat learns that Danylo is accused of being a policeman for the Nazis in World War II Ukraine, and what’s worse, he is suspected of having participated in atrocities against civilians.
When the story is exposed in the local newspaper, Kat and her family become the centre of a media storm. Her grades in school and her relationships with friends suffer. Her only support comes from her family and Ian, a classmate with whom she discovers she has more in common than just artistic promise. Continue reading “Hope’s War”
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. Continue reading “Stolen Child”
In this companion book to the award-winning Stolen Child, a young girl is forced into slave labour in a munitions factory in Nazi Germany. In Stolen Child, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch introduced readers to Larissa, a victim of Hitler’s largely unknown Lebensborn program. In this companion novel, readers will learn the fate of Lida, her sister, who was also kidnapped by the Germans and forced into slave labour — an Ostarbeiter.
In addition to her other tasks, Lida’s small hands make her the perfect candidate to handle delicate munitions work, so she is sent to a factory that makes bombs. The gruelling work and conditions leave her severely malnourished and emotionally traumatized, but overriding all of this is her concern and determination to find out what happened to her vulnerable younger sister.
With rumours of the Allies turning the tide in the war, Lida and her friends conspire to sabotage the bombs to help block the Nazis’ war effort. When her work camp is finally liberated, she is able to begin her search to learn the fate of her sister.
In this exceptional novel Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch delivers a powerful story of hope and courage in the face of incredible odds. Continue reading “Making Bombs for Hitler”
A companion to the award-winning booksStolen ChildandMaking Bombs for Hitler.
Fourteen-year-old Luka works as an Ostarbeiter in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, alongside Lida from Making Bombs for Hitler. Desperate to escape the brutal conditions of the labour camp, he manages to get away by hiding in a truck under a pile of dead bodies.
Once free, Luka joins a group of Ukrainian resistance fighters. Caught between advancing Nazis in the west and Soviet troops in the east, they mount guerilla raids, help POW escapees, and do all they can to make life hard for the Nazis and Soviets. After the war, Luka must decide whether to follow Lida to Canada — or stay in Europe and search for his long-lost mother.
Underground Soldier is a companion book to Stolen Child and Making Bombs for Hitler, and a perfect entry point into the series for new readers, as the books can be read in any order. Continue reading “Underground Soldier”
I got this book through inter-library loan and was so blown away by it that I ordered my own copy, even though it’s expensive.
It is difficult to find first person accounts of Ostarbeiters. Most died at the hands of the Nazis. The bulk of the Ukrainian and Russian slave labourers who somehow managed to survive were “repatriated” to the Soviet Union, where they were sent to Soviet concentration camps for a slow death or shot outright for the crime of being captured by the Nazis.
This book is chock full of personal interviews with a number of Ukrainian and Russian Ostarbeiters, as well as Italian, French, Polish and Czech slave labourers. Also Jewish and Gypsy concentration camp labourers.
It is a treasure trove. Anyone interested in the untold stories of World War II should read this book.