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The Deborah Harris Agency

CLAIMING MY PLACE: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust

CLAIMING MY PLACE: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust

By: PRICE, Planaria & WEST, Helen

Nonfiction, Forthcoming, FSG Children's, 2017

An eyewitness account for a YA audience of all backgrounds and faiths, CLAIMING MY PLACE is the absorbing, informative and richly anecdotal biography of Barbara Reichmann. Not typical of the Holocaust genre, the book first chronicles years of a Jewish family’s everyday life in pre-war Poland and then tells the story of a young woman’s daring survival during World War II in Nazi Germany, where she hides in plain sight. As she struggles with the discovery of the awful fate of her family in Poland, Barbara must also endure liberation and the new perils it brings. In the afterword, Barbara’s daughter Helen describes her mother's immigration to America and the challenges she faced in rebuilding a life and family out of the ashes.

In the dead of night, 26-year-old Gucia escapes from the Jewish ghetto of Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, hours ahead of its liquidation by the Nazis. Traveling with false papers and posing as a young Polish woman named Barbara, she heads for the town of Nowy Sacz. She pays a Polish woman for shelter but is betrayed. When she learns that her factory supervisor suspects she is a Jew, she flees again, this time to Nazi Germany, into the belly of the beast. She finds a job in a small hotel, but when it is bombed in an air raid, she becomes separated from her only ally.

Rights Sold to:

USA, FSG Children's Books


 “I was completely engrossed by the story. It is very well written, clear, and quite moving emotionally.” – Kai Byrd, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer (American Prometheus)

 “As occurs with The Diary of Anne Frank, this book merges the dire circumstances of the Holocaust with typical teenage situations such as emerging boy-girl relationships, friction with family members and the tenuousness of being a teenager. In fact, Claiming My Place expands the view provided in The Diary for the one critical reason. Anne Frank’s story is told within an isolated cocoon. In Barbara’s story, however, the Holocaust is in full view as her experiences unfold.” ­ Dr. David H. Lindquist, Professor Emeritus Purdue University, member of the United States Holocaust Museum committee on Holocaust curricula