School Library Journal
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Gr 7 Up-Orphaned when the Soviets invade Poland in 1941, Piotr finds himself in a lice-infested orphanage in Warsaw. Discovered there by the Nazi Race and Settlement Office, the 13-year-old is introduced to a whole new world of possibilities. His classic Nordic features and German heritage make him a prime candidate for adoption into a German family. However, once settled into his new home in Berlin, Peter, as he is now called, begins to realize that the Nazi party wants much more from him than he is willing to give. The auslander, the foreigner or outsider, must make his own way. Dowswell takes readers on a thrilling, well-researched adventure through assimilation, resistance, and escape in Nazi Germany, weaving in threads of history that Holocaust literature, to this point, has seldom touched upon. Similar to Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Hitler Youth (2005) and The Boy Who Dared (2008, both Scholastic), The Auslander provides a German teen perspective and delves into the history of the Nazi scientific research programs, particularly eugenics and the race reclamation program. This novel is a superb addition to all collections, combining action-packed adventure with blood-chilling history.-Sara Saxton, Wasilla Meta-Rose Public Library, Wasilla, AK (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
After his German parents are killed in Poland during WWII, Peter, 13, is adopted from a Warsaw orphanage by a family in Berlin. With his blond hair and Aryan features, he is a perfect model for Hitler Youth even though he is tainted with Slavic blood. Being called auslander (foreigner) distresses him, but the label is also true: he cannot accept the unquestioning worship of Hitler and the Nazis. What it was like to grow up in war-torn Berlin is the core drama here, and Peter's teen viewpoint describes the vicious prejudice as well as the heroic rescuers, like Peter's friend Anna, with whom he delivers food to hidden Jewish children and listens secretly to BBC broadcasts and degenerate jazz. Then there is Peter's horrifying discovery of his academic foster father's eugenics: deliberately infecting humans, examining eyeballs. Finally, Peter and Anna flee the Allied bombings of civilians. Will they make it to Sweden?--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist