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Cover for The Other Half of Life

The Other Half of Life

A Novel Based on the True Story of the MS St. Louis

Kim Ablon Whitney


List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Mass Market (5/11/2010)
Library Binding (5/12/2009)


A heartbreaking novel based on the true story of a World War II voyage.

In May of 1939, the SS St. Francis sets sail from Germany, carrying German Jews and other refugees away from Hitler’s regime. The passengers believe they are bound for freedom in Cuba and eventually the United States, but not all of them are celebrating. Fifteen-year-old Thomas is anxious about his parents and didn’t want to leave Germany: his father, a Jew, has been imprisoned and his mother, a Christian, is left behind, alone. Fourteen-yearold Priska has her family with her, and she’s determined to enjoy the voyage, looking forward to their new lives.

Based on the true story of the MS St. Louis, this historical young adult novel imagines two travelers and the lives they may have lived until events, and immigration laws, conspired to change their fates. Kim Ablon Whitney did meticulous research on the voyage of the St. Louis to craft her compelling and moving story about this little-known event in history.

Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375852190, 256pp.

Publication Date: May 12, 2009

About the Author

Kim Ablon Whitney has published two previous novels with Knopf. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To learn more about Kim, please visit