When the Nazi party takes control of Germany, thirteen-year-old Paula, who is deaf, finds her world-as-she-knows-it turned upside down, as she is taken into hiding to protect her from the new law nicknamed T4.
Thirteen year-old Paula Becker is deaf, a death sentence in Germany in 1939, because the Nazi regime orders the killing of anyone who is disabled or mentally ill. With the help of their priest, Paula's parents send her into hiding, first to live with a retired schoolteacher, and then to a homeless shelter, where she meets "Poor Kurt." Paula and Poor Kurt become friends, enduring hardship and loss over the course their stay at the shelter. After the war, Paula returns home and brings Poor Kurt with her. She learns his real name is Walthar, that he had disguised himself as an old beggar, but is really a young man. He gets work on a nearby farm and a few years later, he and Paula marry. Though they are happy, their guilt over surviving while so many perished, persists. Written in graceful free verse in Paula's voice, this is a riveting account of yet another horror of the Holocaust. Reviewer: Miriam Chernick