In the two years Halinka has spent in a home for girls, she has learned not to hope for anything, and to hold tightly to what she has. But all Halinka has is herself, a blanket from her beloved Aunt Lou, and a secret notebook where she holds her sayings.
Just as she is losing hope of ever finding a home, and forgetting all she once loved, Halinka sees something that reminds her that everyone needs some beauty in their lives, like they need air, or food . . . and maybe a friend. But for that, Halinka would have to share her thoughts, secrets, and maybe even her memories. And she's not sure if she can afford to lose that much.
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||4.19(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.65(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Mirjam Pressler won the German Youth Literature Prize in 1994 for the body of her work. A translator and biographer of Anne Frank, she lives in Germany and Israel.
Elizabeth D. Crawford's translations have won many prizes, including the 1998 Batchelder Award for The Robber and Me, by Josef Holub (Holt).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A sad, sweet tale of a lonely girl (I don't remember them mentioning her age, but I'd guess eleven or so) in an orphanage. Although the story is set in Germany in the early 1950s, it could come from just about any time or place.Halinka's attempts to stay strong and find some joy in her Spartan existence ring true. At first she stays aloof from everyone, keeping her thoughts and inside her head and sharing them only with her secret book and a beloved aunt whom she occasionally visits. Eventually, however, Halinka lets her guard down and confides in a few select people at the children's home.I thought there characterization in particular was very well-done. With the novel being set in an institution, all the orphan girls might start to blur together, but Pressler was able to make each child, and each staff member, distinctive. Although the movement in the story is largely internal, the fundraising contest added some suspense. I would highly recommend this for 9-to-12 girls.A few notes: contrary to some of the descriptions of this book, the orphanage is NOT a home for "troubled" girls. I also don't think Halinka is Jewish, though the book wasn't entirely clear on that point. In any case it didn't matter whether or not she was.