A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis
The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias “Anna”) and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight during the Holocaust. A middle grade nonfiction novel-in-verse by award-winning author Susan Hood with Greg Dawson (Zhanna’s son).
She wouldn’t be Zhanna. She’d use an alias. A for Anna. A for alive.
When the Germans invade Ukraine, Zhanna, a young Jewish girl, must leave behind her friends, her freedom, and her promising musical future at the world’s top conservatory. With no time to say goodbye, Zhanna, her sister Frina, and their entire family are removed from their home by the Nazis and forced on a long, cold, death march. When a guard turns a blind eye, Zhanna flees with nothing more than her musical talent, her beloved sheet music, and her father’s final plea: “I don’t care what you do. Just live.”
This incredible true story in-verse about sisterhood, survival, and music is perfect for fans of Lifeboat 12, Inside Out and Back Again, and Alan Gratz.
Includes extensive back matter with original letters and photographs, additional information, and materials for further reading.
HarperCollins, 9780063083899, 352pp.
Publication Date: March 22, 2022
About the Author
Susan Hood is the award-winning author of many books for young readers, including Ada’s Violin; Shaking Things Up; Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team; and Lifeboat 12. She is the recipient of an E. B. White Read Aloud Picture Book Honor, the Christopher Award, the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, the Golden Kite Award, and the Bank Street Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, given annually for “a distinguished work of nonfiction that serves as an inspiration to young people.” Visit her at www.susanhoodbooks.com.
Greg Dawson has been a journalist for over 50 years, winning awards for his work as a TV critic, columnist and feature writer at magazines and newspapers including The Boston Herald, Indianapolis Star, and Orlando Sentinel. He is the author of two books on the Holocaust, Hiding in the Spotlight and Judgment Before Nuremberg, and Busted in Bloomington, a collective memoir of the ‘60s written with his wife, Candy Dawson. To learn more go to www.gregdawsonbooks.com.