After The Train

Summary:

Peter Liebig is a 13 year-old who lives in Rolfen, West Germany. World War II has ended and rebuilding is well underway. Peter’s dad is an architect who is restoring historic St. Mary’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. His mother teaches school. Peter believed Rolfen was a perfect place to grow up until he discovered a packet of letters in his mothers’ bureau drawer. The contents of the letters turned Peter’s life upside down.


BTSYA Reader (41):
After the Train is a story of learning self-acceptance while also accepting others. The author has incorporated lessons about the holocaust and antisemitism in the form of stories told to Peter by different characters throughout the story. My favorite aspect of the story is that it shows that heroes come in all forms. It gives a glimpse into how people felt and the type of things they were dealing with after World War II in Germany. I don’t feel the book had a wow factor, the story was slow and lacked adventure or excitement. It’s a good read for anyone interested in history. I recommend the book to ages 10-13. I wouldn’t buy this book but if you find it in the library check it out.

Parent / Educator Perspective:
This is an exceptional book. Gloria Whelan is an award-winning author. After the Train is what I believe is a piece of children's literature as opposed to children's "books."


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This story is flawless and Whelan's ability to keep the reader glued to the page is exceptional.

Content Awareness Factors:

None.


Type of Book:
This is an historical fiction novel set in the 1940s.
Educational Themes:

After the reader finishes the book, there will be many opportunities to discuss issues related to the incidents in the narrative, (i.e.) anti-Semitism, adolescence, post-war Germany, bigotry, and changes in family life.

Reading Level:
5.3
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 to 12
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 41
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. It is a superb example of children’s “literature” as opposed to children’s stories. The premise is believable, the characters are authentic, and the readers will be looking for the author’s next book.
book cover

Title After the Train
Author Gloria Whelan
ISBN 1589613309
Material Hard Cover
Cost $8.95
Genres Historical Fiction, Coming of Age, War
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