This short but powerful novel, set in both the present and the past, tells the compelling story of young Jacob Gutgeld, whose country, Poland, has been invaded by the Nazis.
As a Jew, Jacob is in constant danger of being deported to a death or labor camp, but, in a life-changing moment, is taken under the protection of a kind, Christian man, Alex Roslan. At the risk of death to himself and his family, Alex agrees to become Jacob's new "Uncle" and, with his family, to keep secret Jacob's true identity. The novel describes the risks and challenges the Roslan family faces as they work together to survive the Holocaust and World War II. This novel is an excellent introduction to the Holocaust for upper elementary/beginning middle school readers, as well as for challenged readers, especially if there are time constraints in the curriculum. The novel celebrates the quiet effort of many non-Jews to save their Jewish neighbors and community members from certain death. The novel can be read independently, or in a fair/team/small group format.