The Ribbon Leaf by Lori Weber

The Ribbon Leaf by Lori Weber. Red Deer Press, 2022. 9780889956636

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

Format: Paperback

Genre: Historical fiction

What did you like about the book? In 1938 Germany two girls, Edie and Sabine, are best friends.  Edie is Jewish, Sabine is not.  As persecutions of the Jews escalate Edie and her mother are able to escape to Montreal while leaving Edie’s Dad behind.  Sabine is forced to immerse herself in activities required by the government like helping with children brought to a government-sponsored house to be indoctrinated in Nazi propaganda. Sabine’s father is in Berlin building weapons of war while her older brother is a staunch Nazi soldier.  When Sabine discovers that Edie’s father is wasting away still in Germany hidden away in the basement of his house, she contrives to hide him away in her own house with the aid of her mother.

In Montreal Edie is attending high school while her mother contracts and dies of tuberculosis.  She is aware that she is a lesbian but keeps losing girls for whom she deeply cares.  She does not know if her father is still alive or what is really happening to Jewish people and others in Germany.  The story is told alternately by each year of the war by each girl separately.  Reading this story from the Canadian viewpoint is rewarding and eye-opening.

Anything you did not like about the book? Just me?  I had a really difficult time with the title…

To whom would you recommend this book? Lori Weber is a Canadian author; reading this historical account of two German girls during World War II from the Canadian perspective is intimate and illuminating.  The chapters read more like journal entries than fiction. Readers looking for personal stories of this period of time will not be disappointed.

Who should buy this book? Public, middle school and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near

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

Date of Review:  January 17, 2023

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Starred Review, *Young Adult, Historical fiction, Holocaust, Jews, Lori Weber, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.