Hédi spends her days playing with her dog Bodri in the park, but her quiet world starts to crumble the day she hears Adolf Hitler on the radio. Germany’s leader hates her and her family, just because they are Jewish. And Hitler doesn’t even know them—it doesn’t make any sense. Soon Nazi Germany invades Hédi’s country, and her life changes forever.
Inspired by the author’s experiences, this book is a thoughtful introduction to the Holocaust for young readers. Strikingly honest prose and illustrations share an unforgettable story about a faithful dog, a family in danger, and the power of hope in unimaginable circumstances.
Bodri was my best friend. His coat was soft and brown. My little sister thought Bodri belonged to her. Mother said he belonged to all of us.
But Bodri and I knew that most of all, he was mine.
Bodri was our guard dog. I slept well at night because I knew Bodri was watching over our family and our little town.
We knew all the best hiding places, where to find the juiciest plums, and that we had to watch out for the big dog on the other side of the street.
My friend Marika lived on the other side of the fence.
We shared lots of secrets, and we had so much fun together. We both loved dogs and whipped cream and climbing right up to the top of the walnut tree. I loved playing with Marika, and Bodri loved playing with Marika’s dog Bandi.
Marika and I were almost the same height, and we were both really good at whistling. She ran faster than I did, but I was better at reading. If we ever argued, we made up almost right away. Looking at us, we were very much alike. We both had scabby knees and new front teeth.
The only difference between us was that we said different prayers. Marika went to church, and I went to synagogue. I was Jewish. Marika wasn’t.