A Year of Borrowed Men
2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist
2017 Forest of Reading Golden Oak nominee
2017 Chocolate Lily Book Award finalist
2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens selection
When World War II “borrows” the men in seven-year-old Gerda’s family, the German government sends them three new men in return: Gabriel, Fermaine, and Albert, French prisoners of war who must sleep in an outbuilding and work the farm until the war is over. Gerda knows they are supposed to treat the men as enemies, but it doesn’t seem fair. Can’t they invite them into the warm house for one meal? What harm could it do to be friendly?
World War II was a time of great suffering in Europe and beyond. Millions experienced the horrors of the Holocaust, the carnage of battlefields, the devastation of invasion, and many other atrocities. In A Year of Borrowed Men, author Michelle Barker shares one true story of the tenacity of humanity and friendship in a time of suspicion and fear. Renné Benoit’s illustrations bring warmth to the era, showing the small ways in which a forbidden friendship bloomed: good food, a much-loved doll, a secret Christmas tree. Family photographs and an Author’s Note give further insight into the life of Gerda, the little girl who proved that it isn’t so far from Feinde (enemies) to Freunde (friends).
Author: Michelle Barker
Illustrator: Renné Benoit
Publisher: Pajama Press, 2016