Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Baby Experiment – Anne Dublin

Publisher:  Dundurn
Pages:  160
Source:  Won an advanced reading copy form LibraryThing
Genre:  Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Jews have long been blamed for everything from plague to anything bad that happened.  They have been persecuted for centuries.  We know from our recent history how Hitler made a point of trying to wipe them out.  But, did you know that in the early 1700’s they were just as persecuted and looked down on?  I didn’t.  Anne Dublin has crafted a story set during this time, in Hamburg, Germany.  It is here we meet a young girl by the name of Johanna Eisen.  She had seen a sign advertising for girls to work in an orphanage.  She lies about her name to get a job to help her mother. She lied about her name because she was sure that with a Jewish name she would not be hired.  Although her mother is against it, she lets Johanna go.  It is immediately clear that there is something wrong in this orphanage.  They are not allowed to speak to the babies and they are not allowed to hold them beyond changing their diaper or tending to their physical needs.  Soon the babies begin to die.

Johanna overhears a conversation between the concerned doctor and one of those in charge.  It is shortly thereafter she decides she must rescue one of the babies she has fallen in love with.  She makes the arrangements to escape and is caught by one of the other girls who wants to go with her.  From this point on the tension is taken up a notch.  Will she succeed in escaping?  What about her mother?  What about her friend Cecile?  What will happen when Cecile finds out Johanna is a Jew? 

Read the book to find out answers to all of these questions and more.  I would gladly recommend this book to my students and anyone who loves historical fiction.  I look forward to reading more by this author.

About the Author
Anne Dublin is an award winning author of historical fiction and biographies for young people.  Her books include Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Everything, winner of the IODE Violet Downey Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Book Award and The Orphan Rescue, finalist for the U.S. National Jewish Book Award.  She lives in Toronto.

Visit her website to see her other books:

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