A Faraway Island

By: Annika Thor


In A Faraway Island written by Annika Thor 2 Jewish sisters 12 year old Stephanie and 7 year old Nellie were shipped off to Sweden to escape from the Nazi's. They are granted safety, but their parents are not. As the war draws closer and closer the girls can't go anywhere. They are separated and are expected to go to school soon. Nellie quickly adapts to her surroundings, she's happy with her foster family Auntie Alma and her two kids. Stephanie however finds it hard to adapt to her surroundings. Her foster mother Auntie Marta is very strict, she doesn't give her enough slack. Stephanie's main concern is that she will never be with her parents again. Will she?


The author believes that the theme of the story is being apart doesn't mean that your not together. The story shows this many times with Stephanie and Nellie. They were sent into different foster homes, but they did get to see each other often. Nellie counted on Stephanie at the end of the day that she would always be reunited with their parents. Stephanie had gotten a gift from her father the last day they seen each other. She writes with it every time she sends her parents a letter. She also wishes she could be right in her mothers arms like they were in the photo she brought with her.

How does the book relate to real life?

On September 28, 1943, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, informed the Danish resistance that the Nazis were planning to deport the Jews. They responded very quickly by organizing a nationwide effort to smuggle the Jews to Sweden. Just like Stephanie and Nellie, their parents sent them away to escape from the Nazis. Jews then began to leave Copenhagen when they were warned of the German plans. They found hiding places in homes, hospitals, and churches. Instead of hiding they found great foster parents to take care of them. Almost 8,000 Jews in Denmark lived, with the help of the Danish.

About Annika Thor

She was born and raised in a Jewish family in Goteborg, Sweden. She has written for both theater and film. She is the author of many books for children and young adults. She now lives in Stockholm. A Faraway island is one of the four novels featuring the Steiner sisters.