The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito
This powerful historical novel tells the story of a young girl who is smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto and struggles to both hide and hold onto her Jewish identity.
In 1940, nine-year-old Anna Bauman and her parents are among 300,000 Polish Jews struggling to survive the wretched conditions in the Warsaw ghetto. Anna draws the attention of Jolanta (the code name for the real-life Resistance spy Irena Sendler, who smuggled hundreds of children out of the ghetto). Jolanta wants to help Anna escape. Anna’s mother drills her day and night, teaching her a new identity, that of Roman Catholic Anna Karwolska. Soon, Anna is whisked out of Warsaw to a Catholic orphanage and then to a foster family.
Anna’s story is a suspenseful and deeply moving account of the sacrifices endured, the dangers faced, and the heroism demonstrated by courageous young victims, their parents and their saviors. It sheds light on yet another tragedy of the Holocaust: rescued children who lost not only their loved ones, but their very identities and Jewish heritage.