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Children's Literature Reviews
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Good-bye Marianne
by Irene N. Watts.
Contributor biographical information
Publisher description
Plattsburgh, N.Y. : Tundra Books, c1998.
105 p. ; 20 cm.

Best Books:

Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Fourteenth Edition, 2001 ; National Council of Teachers of English; United States

Awards, Honors, Prizes:

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 1998 Winner Canada

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

Red Cedar Book Awards, 2000-2001 ; Nominee; Fiction; British Columbia, Canada
Silver Birch Award, 1999 ; Nominee; Fiction; Ontario, Canada

Reading Measurement Programs:


Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Upper Grade
Book Level 4.5
Accelerated Reader Points 3

Reviews:

Hazel Rochman (Booklist, August 1998 (Vol. 94, No. 22))
Dogs and Jews not admitted." Watts was one of the 10,000 Jewish children who were sent from Nazi Europe to Britain in the Kindertransport rescue operation in 1938; her moving autobiographical novel personalizes what it was like to be a Jewish child in Berlin at the time. Marianne Kohn, 11, is locked out of her Berlin school; synagogues and Jewish shops are looted and burned; her father is in hiding; the streets are loud with violence and marching Nazi youth. As the violence gets closer and Marianne must hole up in her apartment, she fiercely resists her mother's decision to send her away. Olga Drucker's Kindertransport (1992) and Dorith Sim's picture book In My Pocket (1997) tell of the children's leaving and their journey to foster homes. Here the focus is on the racist persecution that drove parents to send their children away to safety. The mother is idealized, but her heartbreaking letter to Marianne ("One day you will understand why I had to let you go") is as unforgettable as their anguished parting. Category: Middle Readers. 1998, Tundra, $7.95. Gr. 5-8.

Judy Silverman (Children's Literature)
As German Jews realized what was going to happen to them, many of them tried to get out of Germany. If they couldn't, they tried at least to make sure their children would be safe. Trains called Kindertransporte saved thousands of Jewish children, shipping them to England where they would live for the duration of the war. This is the story of one of those children. It follows Marianne Kohn through the autumn of 1938 as her world falls apart, and as her parents try to send her away. A good companion volume to the Edith Baer novels Frost in the Night and Walk the Dark Streets. Heartbreaking, honest, and very readable. Recommended. 1998, Tundra, $7.95. Ages 12 up.

Mary Thomas (CM Magazine, October 30, 1998 (Vol. V, No. 5))
Good-bye Marianne is a very quiet book. It does not shout the inequities of pre-war Germany, but it makes the reader aware of them by that very quality of underemphasis. Marianne is an 11-year-old girl who likes school, hates math, has friends, plays games, skips rope, just like other girls her age, but she is a Jew, and this is Germany in 1938. The story opens with her arriving at school to find the doors locked against her and the notice, "As of today, Jewish students are prohibited from attending German schools" stuck to the door. Her father has already "gone underground," moving from place to place to avoid being arrested; she and her mother make the best of things even as everything deteriorates around them, with their one hope being an exit permit for the whole family. This dream does not come true. In the end, Marianne's mother is able to get Marianne a place on the first of the Kinderstransport - a relief effort aimed at getting children out of Germany. In all, this organization rescued over 10,000 children, saving them from almost certain death at the expense of removing them from country, friends and family. Marianne's close relationship with her mother, contrasted with the atrocities she sees daily in the city, helps the reader to understand just how traumatic the times were and how desperate were the measures that had to be taken. Readers rejoice with Marianne as she disembarks in England - but do not learn what happens to her parents. For those who think that the war was a time for heroics and wonderful opportunities for bravery, this book points out the reasons why it had to happen and the drab dreadfulness it brought with it for most people. The spark of hope that is a common ingredient of children's literature is found not only in Marianne's escape from Berlin but also in a card she is given by a friend as she is about to leave the country. The donor was a true Aryan German, a member of the Hitler Youth, but when confronted with the realization that Marianne is Jewish, he managed to affirm friendship and say "We are not all the same!" Thusly, the seeds of post-war reconciliation are planted even before the actual fighting began. Recommended. Rating: *** /4. Grades 4 - 7. 1998, Tundra Books, 105 pp., paper, $8.99. Ages 9 to 12.

E. Fox (Parent Council Volume 6)
Marianne Kohn is a young Jewish girl living in Berlin in 1938. Her biggest concern in life so far is her math grade. Then quickly and brutally her life is changed forever when the Nazis enact a series of laws designed to strip Jews of their rights. She is banned from school and forbidden to play with her childhood friends. Her family is evicted from their apartment, her father loses his business, and a warrant is issued for his arrest. Her mother then sends her to England for her own safety as part of the "Kinder Transport" organized by the British government. This poignant, believably-written novel is based on the true story of the ten thousand children who emigrated from Germany before the outbreak of World War II. It is a sad story, but one which will shed light on the turmoil and confusion experienced by the "lucky" survivors of World War II. 1998, Tundra Books, $7.95. Ages 10 to 12.

Christel Brautigam (Resource Links, October 1998 (Vol. 4, No. 1))
Marianne is a young Jewish girl growing up in pre World War II Berlin. She begins to realize the impact of Hitler's reign of power when she is no longer allowed to attend her school because she is Jewish. She lives with her mother as her father must remain in hiding for fear of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Marianne is befriended by Ernest, a visitor staying with the nosy landlady. Their friendship grows and it is not until Marianne sees Ernest in his Hitler Youth uniform that she confesses her identity as a Jew and angrily sends him away. Marianne's mother who works for an orphanage manages to get Marianne a seat on the Kindertransporte and safe passage to England. With great sorrow Marianne must be separated from her family, and just before she leaves, Ernest appears to tell Marianne that he likes her for who she is regardless of her religion. Marianne's outrage and sadness are well expressed in this short novel. The message in this story is not unexpected; people should be valued for who they are on the inside, not who they are on the outside. The twist here is that Marianne, although a member of the persecuted group, makes a judgement about Ernest solely on his uniform and not on the wonderful friendship that had blossomed between them. This novel is historically accurate, bringing to light details of the discrimination faced by the Jews in Germany under Hitler's rule. There is some inclusion of German language for "mother" and "father," which is confusing to those not familar with the language. Thematic links include: World War II; Discrimination. Resource Links Rating: G (Good, great at times, generally useful!), Grade 5-7. 1998, Tundra, Pbk, $8.99. Ages 10 to 12.

Betsy Hearne (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July/August 1998 (Vol. 51, No. 11))
Fifth-grader Marianne comes to school one morning only to find herself locked out: “As of today, November 15, 1938, Jewish students are prohibited from attending German schools.” Already her relatives have fled from Berlin to Holland, her father has been arrested once and then forced into hiding, and her mother tries not to be noticed on her way to and from volunteer work at an orphanage. The Gestapo raid their apartment, from which the Nazi landlady shortly afterwards evicts them, and her mother desperately makes the decision to send her on a kindertransport in place of an orphan too sick to go. While the writing is flat and many such earlier incidents have been more forcefully detailed in other children’s books about the Holocaust, the separation of mother and daughter here is realistically moving, with the inevitable anger at abandonment mixed into tearful expressions of love. The ending promises safety for Marianne and leaves her parents’ fate unstated, so that no one with whom the reader strongly identifies dies in the course of the story. A Jewish baker reopens his smashed shop. A friend whom Marianne confronts because of his loyalty to Hitler bestows his most precious possession on her as a parting gift. Together with the compressed plot and easy reading level, this unrealistic optimism may earmark the novel as an introduction for readers unready for more graphic scenes of danger or violence such as those in Pausewang’s Final Journey (BCCB 12/96) or Leitner’s The Big Lie (BCCB 1/93). Review Code: Ad -- Additional book of acceptable quality for collections needing more material in the area. (c) Copyright 1998, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1998, Tundra, 105p, $7.95. Grades 4-6.

Subjects:

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Juvenile fiction.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Fiction.
Jews--Germany--Fiction.
Germany--History--1933-1945--Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.W336 Go 1998
97062177 [Fic]
0887764452
9780887764455
9780887764455
0887764452 (pbk)
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