Item description for The Borrowed House (Young Adult Bookshelf Series) by Hilda Van Stockum...
Overview Location: Holland, Europe Time Period: Modern Era (1700-1950 A.D.) , WW II Holland 1943 When Janna is suddenly summoned from Germany to join her actor parents in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, she is shocked by the Dutch hatred for the Germans. Her favorite Nordic tales and Hitler Youth indoctrination have not prepared her for the complexities of living in a house requisitioned by a military friend of her parents; or for the violence she sees on the streets. With her parents preoccupied by their perplexing adult world of careers and relationships, Janna is lonely and full of unwelcome questions. It is the house itself which begins to provide real, if painful, answers to Janna's bewilderment-but not before it adds its own set of mysteries to solve. A well-developed, true-to-life tale for teenagers.
Publishers Description When Janna is suddenly summoned from Germany to join her actor parents in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, she is shocked by the Dutch hatred for the Germans. Her favorite Nordic tales and Hitler Youth indoctrination have not prepared her for the complexities of living in a house requisitioned by a military friend of her parents; or for the violence she sees on the streets. With her parents preoccupied by their perplexing adult world of careers and relationships, Janna is lonely and full of unwelcome questions. It is the house itself which begins to provide real, if painful, answers to Janna's bewilder-ment--but not before it adds its own set of mysteries to solve. A well-developed, true-to-life tale for teenagers.
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Studio: Bethlehem Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2000
Publisher Bethlehem books
Grade Level High School
ISBN 1883937469 ISBN13 9781883937461
Availability 0 units.
More About Hilda Van Stockum
Hilda van Stockum was born in Rotterdam in 1908. She studied art in Amsterdam and Dublin. She met husband Ervin R. Marlin in Dublin and they were married in 1932. Her first book was "A Day on Skates," published in 1934, the same year as the birth of her first child. "Little Old Bear" was published by Viking Press in 1962. She died in 2006. Obituaries appeared in the New York Times and the New York Sun.
Hilda Van Stockum was born in 1908 and died in 2006.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Borrowed House (Young Adult Bookshelf Series)?
A Determined Girl Jan 27, 2007
When Jana Oster, a German girl who lives in Holland, finds a boy inside her wardrobe, her view on what is happening in the world around her completely changes. As I read The Borrowed House, by Hilda Van Stockum, I learned that people had different views on what happened in World War II. Jana thought that Hitler was doing the Jews in Germany a good deed by sending them away to a nice home of their own. On the other hand, Sef, a fourteen year old boy, knew that the Jews were really being sent to concentration camps, where they were put in gas chambers and killed. As Jana and Sef become closer friends, Jana begins to realize how wrong she had been about many things.
In addition to the different views people had on WWII, the characters were thoughtfully created. Jana, the main character, is a good friend and is very caring. She is a strong girl, and is not afraid to speak what she thinks. Sef is a Jew that secretly forges papers and food cards for other Jews. He enjoys teasing Jana, who has a soft spot for him, by pretending to be in love with another girl. Jana's mother and father are actors at a theater. Jana's mother is attractive, and has always had many fans. Jana's father believes strongly in what Hitler is doing, and encourages Jana to be in the Hitler Youth. Jana's parents love her dearly; however, they never seem to have any time for her. The Oster's share their house with the Frosch's. The Frosch's have a son, Heinz, who loves to make trouble.
Unlike most books, you can never, at any point, guess what is going to happen next. The Borrowed House is the kind of book that draws you into a world full of twists and turns, war, and unexpected relationships and deaths.
Wonderful Book! Jan 8, 2004
My children and I are very interested in World War II and I have read many books about it: adult as well as young adult and children, fiction as well as non-fiction. I previewed this for my young teens. This was a great one! The story was not predictable, but it did have mystery, family love and strength of character at the forefront. While the main character is a German girl of 13, any boy would enjoy the story because it is intriguing and has enough male characters to sustain a boy's interest. So boys and girls alike should enjoy it. Janna is transported to occupied Holland to be with her actor-parents after 2 years separation, and she is immersed into a world of mystery, suspense, war, deception, love and prejudice.
With as much knowledge that I have about WWII, I still learned a lot from this book. It's a keeper. One outstanding quality of the story is the author's portrayal of the sacredness of marriage and family.
The story reminded me a bit of The Hiding Place and The Diary of Anne Franke. The supporting characters (a cook, a Baron with a castle in Bavaria, a bratty little German boy aching for his father's love) provide many surprising twists to the story that make it the page turner it is. Whether your young teen's interest in (or knowledge of) wartimes is high or not, he/she will enjoy this book. So will you.
Well-Written Story With A Bit Of Hypocrisy Nov 18, 2003
I am a 35-year-old who is currently doing research about Nazi Germany. I was inspired to study this time in history when I was a kid, after reading books like this one. Unlike many of the reviewers below, I did not read "Borrowed House" as a child. I came across it recently and, surprised that I had actually missed the book when I was in school, I decided to read it now.
The story is well-told. The relationships between the main characters are interesting; there is a touch of mystery, and an exciting ending. This is an excellent piece of historical fiction. However...
I want the young readers out there to avoid making the same mistake I did. When I read these books as a kid, I noticed that the authors seemed to be FROM Germany, Austria, Holland...where ever the story took place. I figured, they were THERE; they KNEW what it was like; so everything I was reading was true. I thought, "This is the same as reading a history book, but more fun."
What I did not realize was that most of these authors were people who were against the Nazis and had fled Germany. A lot of the books I read about kids in the Hitler Youth were written by people who were never actually members. "Borrowed House" is supposed to be written from the point of view of a German girl living in occupied Holland, but the author is Dutch. She is a good writer, and she tried her best to IMAGINE what it would be like for a German girl, but her own experience was from the opposite side.
"Borrowed House" is a book about a girl named Janna who discovers that everything she has been taught was a lie. There is a scene where her new Dutch teacher tells her that what she was told about the Bible in Hitler Youth was wrong, and the teacher suggests that she read it for herself. The heroine reads the Bible, trembling with anxiety, because, "The Bible was a forbidden book for the Hitler Youth."
I have recently had the opportunity to interview people who were IN the Hitler Youth, and they say that it was NOT forbidden to read the Bible.
They also told me that they could not use Hitler Youth meetings as a way of playing hooky from farm work, as the heroine of "Borrowed House" does in the opening scene. Kids were needed to work on the farms because the war was making food scarce. I spoke to 2 former Hitler Youth members, one male and one female, and they both told me that they had to go out into the fields to catch and kill Colorado beetles with their bare hands, so the crops would not be destroyed. How did the beetles get from Colorado to Germany? Our own American planes dropped them there.
So, like Janna, I am finding out that not everything I have been taught is true. How interesting that a book about a girl confronting misinformation based on prejudice should CONTAIN misinformation based on prejudice.
WWII Amsterdam, from the viewpoint of a German girl Oct 20, 2003
This is an exciting story that deals with difficult moral issues. The central character is a young German girl who is a keen member of the Hitler Youth, until she is summoned to join her parents in occupied Holland. She is delighted by the elegant house they are moved into. Her room seems to have been designed for a girl just her age and the wardrobe is full of lovely clothes just her size. Why do the neighbours seem so hostile when she wears them? Bit by bit she learns the secrets of the borrowed house, and has to decide for herself where her loyalties lie.
A Semi-Intriguing Holocaust Story Nov 28, 2001
This was another mediocre book about the holocaust. One thing that made it stand out however, was that is was largely narrated by a young German girl (living in Germany during WWII). About midway through the book, the young girl finds out that their housekeeper has been hiding Jews in their house. The girl gets to know the Jews, and by the end of the book begins to realize the cruelty that Jews are being subjected to.
Although this book was ok, it was not particularly gripping, page turning or especially unique. If your going to read a holocaust book, I would recommend Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, or The Devil's Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen as much better choices. Happy reading!