Kanada. The name meant untold riches and promise to Jutka, a young Hungarian girl who was captivated by stories of a vast, majestic country where people were able to breathe free of hatred and prejudice. Freedom was in short supply, but hatred was everywhere in Hungary as hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported to concentration camps during the last year of WWII. Jutka, her friends, and her family are sent to Auschwitz.
In that hellish place, there was another Kanada. It was the ironic name given to the storehouse at Auschwitz where the possessions — clothing and jewelry — stripped from the victims were deposited, and where Jutka was put to work.
The war may have ended, but it did not end the suffering of many of the inmates of concentration camps. Many had no homes to go to, and if they did, they were not welcome. Hundreds
went back to Poland and were murdered. Famished, diseased, and homeless, they lived in the hopelessness of camps, wondering if they could ever find a home in the world. Some went to Israel, but for Jutka there was only one dream left her — the dream of a country full of hope, where she would no longer have to live in fear.
Eva Wiseman’s powerful novel describes the war and its long, difficult aftermath with compassion and tenderness.
About Eva Wiseman
Born in Hungary, Eva Wiseman came to Canada with her family when she was a girl. She began writing at a young age, and her first young adult novel, A Place Not Home, was a finalist for numerous literary awards across North America and was selected for the New York Public Library’s annual Best Books for the Teen Age list. Her second novel, My Canary Yellow Star, was also shortlisted for several awards, won the McNally Robinson Books for Young People Award, and was selected for the New York Public Library’s annual Best Books for the Teen Age list. Her novel No One Must Know was equally critically acclaimed and won the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award. Her novel Kanada was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and was the winner of the prestigious Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. Eva Wiseman is the mother of two, and she lives in Winnipeg with her husband.
Praise for My Canary Yellow Star:
“[My Canary Yellow Star] is not just a welcome addition to Holocaust fiction but an extraordinary novel in and of itself.”
— Books in Canada
Praise for No One Must Know:
“…A gentle and moving introduction to the enduring legacy of the Holocaust.”
— School Library Journal
FINALIST 2007 Governor General's Literary Award - Children (English)
WINNER 2007 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People