Lottie, a talented violinist, disappeared during the Holocaust. Can her grand-niece, Charlie, discover what happened?
A long-lost cousin, a mysterious locket, a visit to Nana Rose in Florida, a diary written in German, and a very special violin all lead twelve-year-old Charlie to the truth about her great-aunt Lottie in this intriguing, intergenerational mystery.
Charlie, a budding violinist, decides to research the life of her great-aunt and namesake for her middle school ancestry project. Everyone in Charlie's family believes Great-Aunt Charlotte (called Lottie), a violin prodigy, died at the hands of the Nazis, but the more Charlie uncovers about her long-lost relative, the more muddied Great-Aunt Lottie's story becomes. Could it be that Lottie somehow survived the war by hiding in Hungary? Could she even still be alive today?
In Searching for Lottie, Susan Ross has written a highly personal work of historical fiction that is closely inspired by her own family history, exploring the ongoing effects of the Holocaust on families today. Includes a letter from the author describing the research that shaped this story.
About the Author
Susan Ross is an author and writing teacher from Maine. Her first novel, Kiki and Jacques, was a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year. Searching for Lottie is her second novel and draws greatly upon her own family's experiences and the memories of loved ones lost in the Holocaust.
"Readers will appreciate putting together the puzzle pieces, which are loosely based on the author's own family's story. A highly accessible and endearing historical mystery about a painful period of the past that still resonates in the contemporary landscape."—Kirkus Reviews
"Ross (Kiki and Jacques) convincingly depicts Charlie's growing passion for—and persistence in—her quest, together with her love for music and a blossoming crush on a fellow musician. Family relationships, as well as issues of aging and Alzheimer’s, are drawn with gentleness and compassion. Ross moves the story at a smooth pace as Charlie encounters new obstacles and overcomes them, thanks to several serendipitous events. This is a tender, hopeful work with just the right level of suspense for younger fans of historical fiction."—Publishers Weekly
"Charlie’s quest for information is realistically interrupted by her own life as a middle-schooler with crushes, friends, and her violin practice, and her competitive but still affectionate relationship with her brother underlines the loss that her grandmother feels in her sister’s disappearance. When the perennial family history project approaches, readers may be inspired to explore lesser-known limbs of their family tree to find surprises of their own."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A satisfactory Holocaust story with encouraging words for readers to spark storytelling and genealogical research."—School Library Journal
"While tweens will identify with the daily challenges Charlie faces (her best friend moving, her crush on a cello player, her relationship with her older brother), this is all background for an unpredictable, page-turning mystery. Students may be motivated to find out more about this horrific period in world history or become interested in genealogy. . . . A short novel with brief chapters, this title would be an excellent read aloud for instruction on the Holocaust or for recognizing Remembrance Day on May 2nd."—School Library Connection