The Stolen Ones

The Stolen Ones

The Stolen Ones
Vanessa Curtis

Usborne Publishing Ltd

ISBN 9781474915038

My name is Inge. I am sixteen. I live with Mama and Papa in Munich. Food is still rationed, though the war ended over ten years ago. My boyfriend is Jewish. I have to hide this from my parents. Sometimes I think they are hiding something from me, too. Letters arrive every year on my birthday, but they are not addressed to me. They are for a girl named Kasia. This is her story.

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The Stolen Ones5/5

The Stolen Ones

Vanessa Curtis


There is a wealth of stories set in the Second World War; The Stolen Ones is slightly different. Set in post-war Munich in 1956, it provides an insightful portrait of life after the war for both German and Polish citizens and the way the repercussions of the war still affect them.

Inge is nearly 16, a happy girl living with her parents in their ultra-smart house in Munich. Her mother is a housewife and her father retrained after the war to be an accountant. The only discord in her life is that she has to keep her boyfriend, Wilf, a secret. Wilf is a Jew, therefore not acceptable to her parents. When you start reading the book this automatically would indicate the main issue she has to overcome.

However, this in fact becomes the least of Inge's worries. Whilst she is hiding Wilf's existence from her parents, she starts to believe that they are hiding something from her. A letter appears addressed to someone she does not recognise, as one has every year on her birthday and her mother swiftly hides it away. Then a mysterious woman speaking a foreign language starts to appear at their door, but whenever Inge questions her parents they shut down and will not tell her anything. Drastic action is called for and Inge, with Wilf's help, breaks in to her mother's desk to find the letters - this starts a chain of events and revelations, few of which are comfortable for Inge.

Written with compassion, the book immerses the reader in post war Munich and Poland. Inge and Wilf's story intertwines and her desire to feel 'at home' is foremost throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, from both the historical perspective but more importantly from the human angle of displacement, lost families and reunions.

352 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Sharon Bolton, school librarian

Reviewed by: Sharon Bolton