Guardian Angel House

  • Pages:228
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Themes:shelter, World War Two, Second World War, hiding, protection
  • Pub Date:04/01/2009
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12

Guardian Angel House was a convent operated by the Sisters of Charity in Budapest that sheltered Jewish children during WWII; among them were author Kathy Clark’s mother and aunt.

Kathy Clark has recorded the story of how her mother, Vera, and Vera's older sister, Susan, were saved in World War II by guardian angels—good people who risked their own lives to defy the Nazi juggernaut...Clark details aspects of their daily life so that children in the target age group will be able to identify with the difficulties and unhappiness the sisters experienced...The recreated story includes several heart-stopping moments, such as the time the girls barely escaped detection after the Nazis burst into the convent and the day an unexploded bomb was discovered in the yard...Guardian Angel House will prove to be a popular book in school libraries and for personal purchases. ***/4 Stars -Recommended
– CM Magazine
Guardian Angel House offers a glimpse of some of the many small but heroic acts of the Holocaust – and an interesting portrait of an institution that reached out across any religious barriers to save the lives of many children.
– Canadian Children's Book News
The book is well told and fast paced. Young readers, especially girls, will admire the characters and find the book suspenseful and easy to understand, yet also very educational.
– Canadian Jewish News
A touching tribute to the Righteous Gentiles of the Guardian Angel House and a highly readable introduction to the Holocaust.
– School Library Journal
A moving story with roots in fact, Guardian Angel House is a great way to teach young readers about the Holocaust through fiction.
– Children's Bookwatch
Kathy Clark’s GUARDIAN ANGEL HOUSE is a thoughtful exploration of World War II from a unique perspective. Clark paints an accurate portrait of the young Jewish girls protected by the safe haven that the Catholic convent offered. Both tragic and hopeful, Clark molds non-fiction into an adventurous tale suitable for younger readers.
This book is based on the author's aunt's true story, but it never feels like a biography. Readers identify quickly with Susan, an adolescent who doubts herself but who finds purpose and unexpected friendships in a time of strife. A gripping story unfolds as readers marvel with Susan at the life the nuns lead, feel her joy in finding ways to contribute, and share her sorrow as life is turned upside down. Although the horror of the Nazi reign is not the book's focus, readers experience the atrocities from the young girl's point of view. The truth is not sugarcoated, nor is it graphically stated, striking a perfect balance. Clark does the true story justice in this well-written account of one family's struggle through Holocaust.
The photographs of real people who lived through this experience combined with the war ravaged city and its landmarks provide the harsh reality of the girls' existence during the war. That the book concluded with the happy reunion of most family members demonstrates the strength of the human spirit and makes the reader aware, that, through even the most vile and horrendous attacks on humanity suffered by the Jews during the holocaust, hope springs eternal.
– Resource LInks
The Red Maple Award for Non-Fiction, The Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Program   | 2011  |  Short-listed
2010 Bank Street College of Education's "The Best Children's Books of the Year" - Ages 9-10   | 2010  |  Commended
Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Best Books for Kids and Teens" - Fall 2010   | 2010  |  Commended