Book Reviews

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Essential Modern Classics) by Judith Kerr

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List Price: £3.99


Kindle Edition: 198 Pages.

Published: 28 June 2012 by HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks

Edition: New Ed



Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing, it became dangerous for some people to live in Germany any longer. Suppose you found, to your complete surprise, that your own father was one of those people.

That is what happened to Anna in 1933. She was nine years old when it began, too busy with her schoolwork and toboganning to take much notice of political posters, but out of them glared the face of Adolf Hitler, the man who would soon change the whole of Europe – starting with her own small life.

Anna suddenly found things moving too fast for her to understand. One day, her father was unaccountably missing. Then she herself and her brother Max were being rushed by their mother, in alarming secrecy, away from everything they knew – home and schoolmates and well-loved toys – right out of Germany…


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

Beautifully told fictionalised memoir of a wartime childhood

This is Judith Kerr's story of how she and her family escaped Germany in the early 1930s written as a novel. It is written for youngish readers (12 years and upwards I would say because of the content) and I read and enjoyed it a lot as a child. As an adult I found that it was just as enjoyable and very touching in places. The author has a particular talent for reflecting the situation as a child would see it without seeming affected. It is definitely a modern classic.

The book is narrated by Anna (a fictionalised version of the author). She lives in Berlin and her father is a political writer of some note who is opposed to the Nazi party and all it stands for and is not afraid to say so. He is also Jewish. The book starts with Anna's life in Berlin and then follows her and her family as they flee first to Switzerland and then to Paris with the book finishing as they prepare to travel to London to start a new life there. Anna has continually to readjust whilst still grieving for the life she left behind (including the pink rabbit of the title) and we also see how the family have to adapt to different cultures and changes in their standing. The book is amusing in places and very touching in others. The consequences of Nazism are clear but at a distance as Anna and her family are now divorced from them. There are moments of peril but Anna feels safely wrapped up in her family and the book shows through her eyes the difficulties that her parents have as refugees, Anna wants to be famous but, after reading a book about famous people, realises that she has to have a troubled childhood first - she feels that she hasn't met the conditions for fame.

This book is a tribute to the author's parents and a story of endurance in difficult situations. It is interesting about her experiences and they ring very true to life here, although obviously adapted from a child's point of view. I highly recommend this book however old you are and am pleased that Judith Kerr got her own fame as the author of the well loved "The Tiger who Came to Tea" - another classic.

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