Infused with drama and mystery the book follows Julie on an amazing journey. What begins as a once in lifetime trip from America to London soon develops into an intriguing, fantastic adventure as Julie and cousin Alysa piece together clues to a major art theft that has Scotland Yard baffled. Along the way, she is guided by the mysterious Penny and a series of characters from throughout history. Will she put together the clues in time?
About Gerda Weissmann Klein
Gerda is a powerful campaigner for tolerance and human rights. Raised in Bielsko, Poland, from age 15 she suffered six years under the Nazis, first confined to the basement of her home, then in the local ghetto, followed by a series of slave labor camps. This culminated in a 350-mile forced march in the winter of 1945. Of the more than 2,000 women who began the Death March, fewer than 120 survived. She was eventually liberated by a US Army officer, Kurt Klein – himself a refugee from Germany – who later became her husband. She is the subject of One Survivor Remembers, an intensely moving HBO film that received an Academy Award for best documentary. In 2012, the film was selected by the Library of Congress to be entered into the National Film Registry.
A powerful writer, her autobiography All But My Life, first published in 1957 and now in its 68th US edition, is an inspiring testament to hope, friendship and love. Gerda is still writing at age 89 and her published books span the spectrum, from a biography of a Southern philanthropist who played a key role in combating racial discrimination in the segregated South in the 1960s, to books that help children understand autism and those who are developmentally disabled.
Gerda is a charismatic public speaker who has delivered her messages across the US and much of the world – focusing not on the horrors she experienced but, rather, on the uplifting dimensions of the human spirit. An illustrative example of her humanitarian work, Gerda and her late husband were invited to help the children and families of Columbine High School, following the tragedy in that community. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the governing board of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In 2008 she founded Citizenship Counts, which promotes education for tolerance, engaged citizenship and service to the community. Gerda is the recipient of numerous honors: President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor. For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerda_Weissmann_Klein.
Gerda has always had a passion for English history – first aroused when, as a young girl, she read about her contemporary, Princess Elizabeth. Her interest was further deepened by a lifetime of immersion in the history of the monarchy and her gratitude for England’s actions during World War Two. In the 1980s she wrote The Windsor Caper in more than 60 weekly episodes as a serial in a Buffalo, New York newspaper. The story has never been published since, but remains one of her proudest achievements. Delightful, gentle and magical, it demonstrates her talents as a writer and her love for, and empathy with, children.
Gerda's serene and idyllic childhood is shattered when Nazis march into Poland on September 3, 1939. Although the Weissmanns were permitted to live for a while in the basement of their home, they were eventually separated and sent to German labor camps. Over the next few years Gerda experienced the slow, inexorable stripping away of "all but her life." By the end of the war she had lost her parents, brother, home, possessions, and community; even the dear friends she made in the labor camps, with whom she had shared so many hardships, were dead.
Despite her horrifying experiences, Klein conveys great strength of spirit and faith in humanity. In the darkness of the camps, Gerda and her young friends manage to create a community of friendship and love. Although stripped of the essence of life, they were able to survive the barbarity of their captors. Gerda's beautifully written story gives an invaluable message to everyone. It introduces them to last century's terrible history of devastation and prejudice, yet offers them hope that the effects of hatred can be overcome.
Set in the 1980s it is about two American girls.
Alysa is in England for a year and Julie is visiting her for the summer vacation. Julie is surprised at how much England has changed her cousin! But things get complicated when they visit Windsor Castle to see Queen Mary’s Doll’s House. The girls get separated from their parents and find themselves locked in for the night! In several dreamlike passages they meet a series of ghostly characters and scary heraldic monsters from English History: are they awake or not? Things build up to a terrifying climax and then turn nasty when they come up against some ruthless art thieves ...
Over fifty years ago, Gerda Weissmann was barely alive at the end of a 350-mile death march that took her from a slave labor camp in Germany to the Czech border. On May 7, 1945, the American military stormed the area, and the first soldier to approach Gerda was Kurt Klein. She guided him to her fellow prisoners who lay sick and dying on the ground, and quoted Goethe: "Noble be man, merciful and good." Perhaps it was her irony, her composure, her evident compassion in the face of tragedy, that struck Kurt Klein. A great love had begun. Forced to separate just weeks after liberation and hours after their engagement, Gerda and Kurt began a correspondence that lasted until their reunion and wedding in Paris a year later. Their poignant letters reflect upon the horrors of war and genocide, but above all, upon the rapture and salvation of true love.