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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Apart from the terrible atrocities on Jewish people during World War II, millions of innocent German civilians were displaced from their homes and forced to start their lives anew under Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. Powerless in Poland by June Triana-Schiada is a story of one such family. Eleven-year-old George's life turns upside down when he discovers that his family must uproot their happy lives in Riga, Latvia, and move to Poland due to the oncoming threat of the Red Army. George's father, Theodor, must close his successful bakery and the family must try to build a new life in Poland. George witnesses firsthand the subjugation of the Jewish people by the Nazis in Poland. But as the war inches closer to the end, the Marienfedlt family discovers they must embark on a dangerous journey again as everything around them devolves into chaos.
Based on true events, Powerless in Poland is a poignant tale of hope and survival that showcases the resilient nature of the human spirit. June Triana-Schiada tells the heartbreaking story of her German family, who inadvertently became the victims of a war they had no interest in. The story is told through the POV of an eleven-year-old boy, which makes the environment feel even more dire. The author has a firm handle on the characters and brings their personalities to the page elegantly, with layers of depth underneath the surface. Despite the subject matter, the book ends on an optimistic note. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it if you like historical fiction.