'Daughter of Light' historical fiction for readers 7- 10.
Cover art by Stephen McCallum
* A Notable Book for older readers. The Association of Jewish
Libraries in the annual Sydney Taylor Book Awards for outstanding
books of Jewish content for chilren. February, 2002
In the Netherlands, World War II is at its height. The harsh winter and the German forces have the Dutch population in their grip. Now, electricity has been cut off, forcing nine-year-old Ria and her family to scramble for sources of heat and light.
Ria's father is in hiding and her best friend and her family have been taken away by the Germans. The local mayor is a nazi sympathizer. Yet, Ria is determined that her pregnant mother will give birth in a warm home filled with light. She develops a bold and dangerous plan.
'Daughter of Light' is based on historical facts.
The story is set in the province of Friesland during the Second World War. The last winter of the five year war was the worst. People suffered terribly. Many died of starvation. In the big cities there was no food and people traveled to the country side, where they traded food for personal items. Without fuel, people could hardly stay warm. Just before Christmas the Germans cut the electricity, to save energy for themselves. It was during those dark times, that a small miracle happened and a little baby girl was born in a warm house with electric lights and heat. When I read about this event it touched me deeply and I felt a need to write this story. I have often wondered, how people went about their daily lives during the war. The diary of Pietsje de Vries-van der Laan helped me imagine what life must have been like.
"Hi, it's me again, Dimple. Can you imagine... it was martha's sister-in-law, Siepie, who was born New Year's Eve, 1944!"