My Family for the War

Voorhoeve, Anne C.

Kaley Byerly

March 5, 2014


Ziska Mangold/ Frances Shepard

She starts out as a shy 10 year old girl running around frightened, trying to survive, in Germany, Now she is a brave independent young woman living in London.

Gary Shepard

He is a young man who is 16 or 17 with dark hair and bright green eyes. He is also the "brother" of Frances.

Amanda Shepard & Matthew Shepard

They are the foster parents of Frances. They live in London. They care about Frances and want her to be safe. They are very kind and friendly people but they can be strict if you do something wrong. They are a Jewish family.

Papa & Mamu

They are the parents of Ziska. They lived in Germany but they didn't enjoy their life there so they moved to Holland. They are caring parents who care about their daughter, Ziska. They were born Jewish but are now Catholic.


1938- 1945. This book took place during World War II. The main character, Ziska/ Frances lived in Germany and London.


At the start of World War II, ten- year old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, Germany. The train secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in London, England. Franziska is taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents. Frances, her name in London, pieces together a new life with the help of her friends and foster family. She doesn't know when or if she will see her true family again. Later on in the book, once the war starts, she is evacuated to the country without her foster parents. She is put in another house with complete strangers, who aren't so nice. In the end she reuniutes with her foster family and is reunited with her mom. Over all, Frances struggles through identity, family, love, and these shape her into a charming young women.

Batchelder Award

This award was established in 1968, in honor of Mildred L. Batchelder. Mildred L. Batchelder is a former executive director of the Association for Library Service to Children, a believer in the importance of good books for children in translation from all parts of the world. The Batchelder Award is a citation awarded to American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language. The translation should reflect the style of the author and of the original language. The book should not be unduly "Americanized." Folk literature is not eligible. Picture books are not eligible unless the text is substantial and at least as important as the pictures. The book must have the potential to appeal to a child audience (age 0-14). The overall design of the book should enhance and not detract from the text, thus making the book more or less effective as a children's book.

About The Author

Anne C. Voorhoeve was born in 1963 in Germany. She studied Political Science, American Studies and Ancient History at the University of Mainz and Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland. She has worked as a newspaper and book editor, in public relations for a Lutheran monastery, and since 2000 as a freelance writer. The book she wrote, My Family for the War, earned the Batchelder Award in 2013.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this book. It fits all the criteria. It is a believable story that explores identity, loyalty, and courage. The author, Anne C. Voorhove, brings history alive, showing readers that a survival plan has much more to do with seeking then hiding. My Family for the War is filled with humor, dangers, and romance.