37 Days at Sea : Aboard the M.S. St. Louis, 1939
In May 1939, nearly one thousand German-Jewish passengers boarded the M.S. St. Louis luxury liner bound for Cuba. They hoped to escape the dangers of Nazi Germany and find safety in Cuba. In this novel in verse, twelve-year-old Ruthie Arons is one of the refugees, traveling with her parents. Ruthie misses her grandmother, who had to stay behind in Breslau, and worries when her father keeps asking for his stomach pills. But when the ship is not allowed to dock in Havana as planned--and when she and her friend Wolfie discover a Nazi on board--Ruthie must take action. In the face of hopelessness, she and her fellow passengers refuse to give up on the chance for a new life. ...
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M.S. St. Louis embarked from Ham-burg, Ger-many in 1939, with many Jews on board des-per-ate-ly escap-ing Nazi Ger-many. When both Cuba and the Unit-ed States refused to allow most of the refugees to dis-em-bark, almost all were forced to return to Europe. As the Nazis occu-pied most of the nations where they set-tled, many even-tu-al-ly per-ished. Bar-bara Kras-ner has imag-i-na-tive-ly envi-sioned this ter-ri-fy-ing expe-ri-ence through the eyes of one girl, twelve-year-old Ruthie Arons, in her nov-el 37 Days at Sea. Although Ruthie is a fic-tion-al char-ac-ter, her obser-va-tions and emo-tions cap-ture the sense of arbi-trary injus-tice and the con-se-quences of hatred and cow-ardice on vul-ner-a-ble human lives. Using a vari-ety of poet-ic forms, from free verse to haiku and......