Which Way is Home? – Maria Kiely


    Which Way is Home? – Maria Kiely, Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, (9780525516804), 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

 Genre: Historical fiction

 What did you like about the book? Anna lives with her family on a farm outside of Prague in 1948 following the end of WWII and occupation by the Nazis.  Now the Communists have taken over putting nearly as many restrictions on the Slovaks as the Nazis had.  Anna’s father has fled for his own safety when he will not join the Communist party.  Anna, her mother and sister must escape to be reunited with her father.  The plan is dangerous and intricate, putting the reader on the edge of her seat.  The story is based on the events her mother told her about her own escape from the Communists.

Anything you did not like about the book?  I wish the story had been longer and more filled out; it felt like such a short snatch even with the brief Author Notes as to what happened following the family’s escape.

 To whom would you recommend this book? I was particularly drawn to this story because I am of Slovak descent.  I knew that the Russians took over Czechoslovakia following WWII but never really thought about what life must have been like for those trapped there with no means of escape.

Who should buy this book? Public and Middle school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Juvenile fiction/Historical

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No, but it does address a very much overlooked part of history: the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia after defeating the Nazis.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review:  5/6/2020

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