The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton

The Last Train to London is a historical fiction written about a true life World War II heroine Geertruida Wijsmuller also known as Tante (Aunt) Truus. Truus was a Dutch woman that smuggled Jewish children out of Germany and other German occupied countries such as Austria. She would take them to countries such as Britain and have them placed with families. Her mission was called the Kindertransport and she would end up rescuing ten thousand children from the Nazi’s. She never had any biological children, however her tombstone reads “Mother of 1001 children, who made rescuing Jewish children her life’s work.” She is caught twice by the Nazi’s, but with lack of evidence they release her.  

The book also depicts the story of Stephan Neuman, a Jewish teenage boy in Austria who dreams of writing plays. His Zofie, Helene Perger, is a mathematician and is also in danger; not because of her religion, but because her mother writes a newspaper criticizing the Nazi’s. The two teens dream of a safe place to wait out the war and continue their dreams and education. Will they make it out in time?

Reviewed by Stephanie Dunn, Zauel Library