Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

savingamelie_cathygohlkeIn a cruel world that was once ours in the 1940s, there lived a young woman by the name of Rachel Kramer.  Getting increasingly tired of hearing of her father’s genetic research to create the “perfect” Nordic race for which Hitler strived,  Rachel meets up with her childhood best friend, Kristine.  While the two catch up, they discuss their past life.  Kristine has courted a German SS officer, Gerhardt Schlick.  They even have a four-year-old daughter, Amelie.  However, Kristine tells Rachel with anguish that Amelie is deaf.

A couple days later, Rachel and Kristine find each other again at a banquet dinner also attended by Rachel’s father  and Gerhardt Schlick.  Through all of the presentations and lectures about eliminating the Jews and creating a pure society, Kristine caught the speaker say something about eliminating “imperfect citizens.”  As he continued, Kristine thought about her own child, Amelie.  She was disabled!  What would happen to Amelie if the German soldiers found her?  Kristine became worried and confided in Rachel about her dilemma.  However after a heartbreaking incident, the two are separated.  It is now up to Rachel to carry out Kristine’s plan.  Rachel and her new found friends attempt to save Amelie, much like the title predicts.

I would rate this daring, twisting, and exciting adventure a 10 out of 10.  Its painful story provided a glimpse of life in Germany during WWII and the plan to perfect the Aryan race.  Though devastating, frightening, and uplifting all at the same time, Amelie’s story is quite the historical fiction thrill.

-Maya S., 8th Grade

Saving Amelie is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library

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