Alias Anna

A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis

by Susan Hood, Greg Dawson

On Sale: 03/22/2022

Alias Anna

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Alias Anna

A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis

by Susan Hood, Greg Dawson

On Sale: 03/22/2022


Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

Sydney Taylor Book Award

New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids

Bank Street Children’s Best Books of the Year

About the Book

A Sydney Taylor Book Award 2023 Middle Grade Notable!

A Jewish Book Council Award Middle Grade Finalist!

The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias “Anna”) and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight during the Holocaust. A middle grade nonfiction novel-in-verse by award-winning author Susan Hood with Greg Dawson (Zhanna’s son).

She wouldn’t be Zhanna. She’d use an alias. A for Anna. A for alive.

When the Germans invade Ukraine, Zhanna, a young Jewish girl, must leave behind her friends, her freedom, and her promising musical future at the world’s top conservatory. With no time to say goodbye, Zhanna, her sister Frina, and their entire family are removed from their home by the Nazis and forced on a long, cold, death march. When a guard turns a blind eye, Zhanna flees with nothing more than her musical talent, her beloved sheet music, and her father’s final plea: “I don’t care what you do. Just live.” 

This incredible true story in-verse about sisterhood, survival, and music is perfect for fans of Lifeboat 12, Inside Out and Back Again, and Alan Gratz.

Includes extensive back matter with original letters and photographs, additional information, and materials for further reading.


Critical Praise

This lyrical book is one of the most truthful survivor stories I’ve ever read. I think this book will be a page-turner for adolescents.  — Jack Kliger, President and CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage

A profound and powerful story of the Holocaust, told with heart, soul, and music.Kathryn Lasky, Newbery Honoree and winner of the National Jewish Book Award

A harrowing and remarkable story of strength and survival.  — Kirkus Reviews

Appended with generous back matter, this offers a revealing look at an underreported Holocaust chapter. — Booklist

Hood tells Zhanna’s sto­ry through both free verse and a rich array of forms. The use of poet­ry is effec­tive, echo­ing in its com­plex­i­ty the music of a sin­gu­lar life caught in the chaos of history. This high­ly rec­om­mend­ed book includes exten­sive back­ground mate­r­i­al, pho­tos, sources, lists of musi­cal com­po­si­tions, and poet­ic forms. — Jewish Book Council

[A] hard-hitting nonfiction biography told in verse. [An] accessible portrait of two talented and determined teens. — Publishers Weekly

This compelling book of loss and perseverance will stay with readers long after they have finished. . . This lyrical biography (written with Dawson, Zhanna’s son) features significant back matter, including discography, original photographs and correspondence, further reading, and more. The verse format and harrowing narrative make this a quick read for reluctant and striving readers. This powerful work of persistence and hope is highly recommended. — School Library Journal

A tribute to the power of girls. — The Sydney Taylor Schmooze

On the Audio Edition: "A touching story of art, struggle, and overcoming persecution, with a narration that is a testament to survival."   — Booklist


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063083899
  • ISBN 10: 0063083892
  • Imprint: HarperCollins
  • On Sale: 03/22/2022
  • Pages: 352
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / History / Holocaust
  • BISAC2 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Poetry / General
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Music
  • BISAC4 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Historical

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