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Readers of Anne of Green Gables and Hattie Ever After will love following Stephie’s story, which takes place during World War II and began with A Faraway Island and continued with The Lily Pond.
Three years ago, Stephie and her younger sister, Nellie, escaped the Nazis in Vienna and fled to an island in Sweden, where they were taken in by different families. Now sixteen-year-old Stephie is going to school on the mainland. Stephie enjoys her studies, and rooming with her school friend, May. But life is only getting more complicated as she gets older.
Stephie might lose the grant money that is funding her education. Her old friend Verra is growing up too fast. And back on the island, Nellie wants to be adopted by her foster family. Stephie, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about her parents, who are in a Nazi camp in Austria. If only the war would end. . . .
Like the deep sea, Stephie’s life is filled with danger and darkness, but also with beauty and hope as she learns to stand up for her beliefs and be true to herself.
A CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book of the Year
*"A rich blend of emotional truths."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred
*"This novel about coming of age during a complicated, tragic time in history is both delicate and poignant."--Publisher's Weekly, Starred
"Thor . . . deftly balances the sisters’ everyday concerns with the greater psychological aspects of being refugees."--School Library Journal
"The novel’s strength lies in its rich cast of secondary characters whose stories bring wartime Sweden to life."--Booklist
"The present tense and a limited third-person narration that reflects Stephie’s every thought and emotion give the story unusual immediacy, nuance, and impact."--The Hornbook Magazine
“Deep Sea and the story of the Steiner sisters is a much-needed voice in the sea of World War II novels for youth.”—VOYA
Praise for A Faraway Island
Winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award
"[A] welcome addition to the canon of WWII stories."--The Hornbook Magazine, Starred
Praise for The Lily Pond
A Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book
"This distinguished Holocaust story will resonate."--Booklist
are students there. She also has two siblings who haven’t even started school yet, as well as an older sister, Britten, closest to May in age, who had to quit after primary school last spring and take a job as an errand girl at the bakery. Almost all the children in the area quit school after the compulsory six years. May is an exception; her high grades got her a scholarship, which allowed her to continue her education at the girls’ grammar school in town. “I’m worried sick about our math
test!” says May. “I’ll never pass. I just know it. And if I fail this one, too, Miss Björk is going to have to flunk me. Then I’ll never get into high school.” Stephie and May are in their third and final year of grammar school now. Next fall, they’ll start high school if their grades are good enough to win them scholarships again. Everyone in the class is focused on grades, but Stephie and May are the only ones who won’t be able to go on if they don’t get scholarships. “You’ll get through,”
ended up at the Children’s Home last winter,” Judith tells her. Stephie looks at Susie, a girl with a sturdy build, frowning face, and sad eyes. “This is our stop,” says Judith. She gets up and touches Stephie’s arm. “Come with us for a while. Unless you’re in a hurry?” Stephie thinks for a second. It will soon be dinnertime at May’s, but she’s still full from Miss Björk’s English sandwiches. Besides, with ten people at the Karlssons’ table, one more body or less doesn’t really make any
that,” Nellie says impatiently. “You’ve told me a hundred times.” “I imagine Mamma and Papa worry a lot,” Stephie goes on. “Papa worries about Mamma, I know that.” “Yeah, yeah.” “Don’t you think the least the two of us can do is not to worry them even more?” “What do you mean by that?” Stephie takes out Mamma’s card from her dress pocket and shows it to Nellie. Nellie reads it and hands it back. She stares stubbornly at the ground. “Well?” “I do write,” says Nellie. “Sometimes.” “Nellie,”
their prayers. She did. “They didn’t have to force me,” says Stephie. “I was willing to do what they wanted me to do.” “How could you?” asks Judith. “How could you betray your own people?” 27 The rest of the evening and the next morning, Judith is withdrawn and quiet. At breakfast, she says she’s decided to take the ten o’clock boat back to Göteborg. “You don’t need to walk me, I know the way now.” Judith’s disappointment stands between them like a wall. Stephie can’t find a crack. They say