Escaping Camp Ravensbrook by R.T. Johnson
Katrina, an orphaned witch, her Jewish friend Alice, and a Nazi guard Peter all make the best out of being stuck in the women’s camp Ravensbrook. This historical fiction stand alone is a quick read for anyone who likes their history with a little magic.
Publisher’s Description: Katrina is a girl who is caught and captured and is sent to Camp Ravensbrook after her parents die. She’s treated terrible there, but Katrina has a secret. She has witchcraft powers she uses for good, but Katrina wants to find a way out of there. When she meets Peter, she realizes that he’s the right man for her. But she’s worried about the fact that he might not accept her witchcraft powers. Will they be able to make it out in one piece despite the horrors of a war going on? Or will they be sentenced to this camp forever?
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Luna Lovebooks says…
This is without a doubt an adorable story (I hope that is ok to say about a book that is set in a prison camp). Katrina and her Aunt are witches and members of the Resistance that have been sent to the all women and children camp of Ravensbrook. The reason it is adorable is because sixteen year old Katrina does her best to keep her spirits uplifted amid the horrors of being in a place where she is forced to work or be shot. She uses her magic to aide her in her camp chores, to stop guards from raping young girls, whipping the women, heals a sick boy and his mother, and saves the life of her friend Alice. Her friendship and the love her and Peter share are what help her survive. I think this is important for children or adolescents to learn. While this book gets that lesson to us in an unconventional way, it still reaches its readers.
Now for a few things that bothered me as a reviewer. While this book reads and looks as if it is for children, there are rape scenes and a few of the minor characters talk about rape in a non-chalant way. No great detail is given but this reviewer feels that if this is a book for middle grade readers that that particular horror of prison camps should be left out. I also wish there was more information about the real camp Ravensbrück for readers to learn more.
If you like this book…
…you might try The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, and a non-fiction just for the studious types: Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm.