Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
★ “Heartbreaking. An important addition to the Holocaust curriculum.”—Booklist, starred review
A pampered child used to having her own way, Anneke Van Raalte lives outside Amsterdam, where her father is a cartoonist for an Amsterdam newspaper. Though Anneke's family is Jewish, her religion means little to her. Anneke's life changes in 1942 when the Nazis invade Holland and she and her family are deported to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Not only are conditions in the camp appalling, but the camp is the site of an elaborate hoax: the Nazis are determined to convince the world that Theresienstadt is an idyllic place and that European Jews are thriving under the Nazi regime. Because he is an artist, Anneke's father is compelled to help in the propaganda campaign, and Anneke finds herself torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of what is right. What World is Left was inspired by the experiences of the author's mother, who was imprisoned in Theresienstadt during World War II.
About the author
MONIQUE POLAK is a regular contributor to The Montreal Gazette and has been published in many other major publications such as the Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Newsday. She is also the author of the Sports Stories novel Flip Turn, a Canadian Children's Centre Our Choice selection, and the SideStreets novels All In and On the Game, which was also an Our Choice selection. She lives in Montreal with her husband and daughter, where she teaches writing and English Literature.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books
- Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nominee
- Short-listed, ALA Best Books for Young Adults
- Winner, Quebec Writers' Federation Literature Prize
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
- Commended, Booklist Editor's Choice