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Rose Under Fire    by Elizabeth Wein order for
Rose Under Fire
by Elizabeth Wein
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although this is fiction, you'll be hard pressed not to believe this is the actual account of a young American girl who spent six harrowing months in a Nazi prisoner of war camp.

Rose Justice learned to fly when her father taught her when she was quite young. An accomplished pilot, young Rose decides to volunteer as an Air Transport Auxiliary pilot in England towards the end of World War II and, thanks to family connections, she lands the position.

While on an unusual mission over Europe, Rose is intercepted by German fighters and forced to land at an enemy airbase. Taken into custody, the young American is sent to Ravensbruck women's concentration camp where she befriends a small group of other women from across Europe.

Some of the girls have been subjected to unspeakable medical experiments and all of them have interesting stories. Rose even encounters another pilot; a former female fighter Russian Air Force ace who was taken prisoner.

Using poetry, letters and journal entries, this novel covers the period not only before and during Rose's ordeal, but also the difficult months afterwards when she tries to put her life back together. It also touches on the post war criminal trials.

A very emotional and heart-wrenching story that shows the horrific circumstances in the Nazi prison camps, Rose Under Fire underscores the loyalty, bravery and sacrifice that made it possible for at least some of these women to survive the horrors of their ordeals.

At times this book can be a bit difficult to read; hence, it might not be appropriate for all teenage readers. The impact of Rose's story will not be quickly forgotten and the authentic emotions here certainly will engage readers of any age.

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