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The Star Houses

New or Used: $23.07
New or Used: $23.07

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About the Author

Stewart Ross is a popular, prize-winning children's author. He has written over one hundred books for children, including many on 20th century history. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Stewart taught history, english and politics for ten years to children of all ages.


Gr 4-8-The Enemy reads like history poorly disguised as fiction. Underdeveloped characters and a contrived plot combine with dry historical details and clichd language. Supposedly the memoir of a 12-year-old French girl living under German occupation, the story revolves around Marie, who finds herself caring for two injured soldiers-one English and one German. While war rages around them, Marie, her mother, and the soldiers manage to overcome their differences and come to recognize in one another the goodness that has all but disappeared out in the world. Unfortunately, the outcome is so predictable and the text so plodding that the book fails to arouse readers' interest. By contrast, The Star Houses, which is based on a real person, transforms the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor into an accessible and fast-paced story that reveals both the hardships and courage of those swept up in the final days of the Nazis' Final Solution. "Bandi" Guttmann is a 14-year-old Jewish boy living in Hungary. His first-person narrative of his family's struggle to survive the roundup of the Jews of Budapest is compelling and readable. Historical facts blend seamlessly with the story, providing a dramatic stage for the characters whose actions and emotions ring true. Bandi simply and eloquently describes the emotional numbness that envelops him as a result of his experiences.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'Stewart Ross has made a convincing fiction out of an old man's true memories. An informative, exciting yet morally complex book.' -- TES 20020118

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