Article Title

Salt to the Sea


Karen Abbott


Outstanding, Young Adult, World War Ii, Maritime Disaster, Survival, Sacrifice, German

Document Type

Book Review


World War II had heroes and it had villains, but most of all it had victims and survivors. A young girl, Amelia, meets a Russian soldier in a root cellar. The soldier has one thing in mind and is in the act of raping her when a German teen shoots him down. He doesn't want to take the girl with him, but she reminds him of his little sister and he can't leave her behind. They meet a group of refugees and together they make a journey to the coast, attempting to find passage to a place away from the atrocities and the advancing Russian army. They succeed, through loss and heartache, in securing passage aboard a luxury vessel built to hold 1400 guests. The final count is over 10,000 refugees and military aboard. They are only 25 minutes into the voyage when three torpedoes hit and the vessel begins to sink. In the final scramble, Amelia, Florian, Johanna, Klaus, a new baby, and Albert survive the vessel's demise. But only Florian, Johanna, Klaus and the baby will make a new life for themselves in America after the war.