I grabbed this book to read as it was hyped as a “new” Diary of Anne Frank and there are always students who are looking for interesting, good reads about the Holocaust. The Endless Steppe was not a
disappointment, in fact it was excellent. Esther is 10 years old and happily living with her wealthy, extended family in Vilna, Poland when the Russians swoop in and arrest her and her parents and grandparents as
“capitalists” and send them off to Siberia. The long ride across Europe in cattle cars is just the beginning of the incredibly tough 6 years that Esther spends growing up in a landscape of great beauty, and mind-blowing hardships. Everyday survival, especially during the long winter months, is the name of the game, yet Esther amazingly manages to find moments of happiness and fulfillment. In fact, when WWII is finally over and she is allowed to return to Poland part of her does not want to leave, which I found incredible,
yet wonderful. Read this memoir if you are looking for something completely surprising, fascinating, and uplifting.
Ms.G is the librarian at the Malone Middle School in Malone, NY.