Under a Red Sky (Hardcover)

Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania

By Haya Leah Molnar

Farrar Straus Giroux, 9780374318406, 302pp.

Publication Date: March 30, 2010



Eva Zimmermann is eight years old, and she has just discovered she is Jewish. Such is the life of an only child living in postwar Bucharest, a city that is changing in ever more frightening ways. Eva's family, full of eccentric and opinionated adults, will do absolutely anything to keep her safe--even if it means hiding her identity from her. With razor-sharp depictions of her animated relatives, Haya Leah Molnar's memoir of her childhood captures with touching precocity the very adult realities of living behind the iron curtain.

Under a Red Sky is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

About the Author

Haya Leah Molnar lives in New York City. This is her first book.

Praise For Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania

"In this rich, insightful memoir, Molnar offers a child’s-eye view of life in Romania in the late 1950s. [Her family is] a lively, eccentric bunch brought vividly to life in a simple first-person, present-tense narration.… Black-and-white family photographs illustrate this poignant, memorable memoir."

 -- Kirkus (STARRED)


"As Eva pieces together her family’s history, a vivid story emerges; ranging from funny tender moments of family life to the horrific revelations of the Romanian holocaust, about which little has been written….[a] poignant, memorable offering."-- Booklist

"Finely wrought moments poignantly render the political and religious complexity of Eva's childhood: her best friend, a Christian, searches Eva's head for horns; her Jewish aunt delivers a Christmas tree; she learns that two Nazis saved her family's lives years earlier. Haunting images and humorous anecdotes combine to powerful effect in this impressive debut.: --Publishers Weekly (STARRED)

"Under a Red Sky is full of odd, vivid details from a time and place in Europe that seldom figures in books for young adults.” -- Wall Street Journal

"a readable, informative, and engaging book" --School Library Journal

"Molnar reminiscences about the challenges faced by her Holocaust-surviving elders under a repressive regime, and the confusion she felt upon discovering she was Jewish, at the age of 8, when her parents applied for emigration to Israel." --Tablet