Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: The Extra

The Extra
The Extra by Kathryn Lasky

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Extra by Kathryn Lasky is the tale of a young Sinti girl living in Vienna during World War II. At the beginning, she is still able to go to school and live in her house, though the Nazi government is keeping tracking of all Gypsy families. However, they soon change their minds which send Lilo and her parents to a series of internment camps. One of which is where Lilo and her mother find a temporary escape--being extras in a movie.

The director Leni Riefenstahl is creating a movie about a Spanish woman living in a small village. To add authenticity to the movie, Lilo and her mother, along with a handful of other Gypsy prisoners including Django, the one who can find out anything, are given the chance to be in the movie. Although the work is not difficult, they are all kept imprisoned within a farmer's barn and continue to be fed as little as possible. Though Lilo knows Leni is a vicious woman, she plays the part she is assigned and cooperates until she has her moment to escape. But there's no telling what will happen once she does.

This book, though the subject matter can be hard at times, is a realistic look into the lives of one of the groups that were brutalized for who they were during World War II. Through Lilo's eyes readers get a glimpse of the real-life Leni Riefenstahl and the privileges she had because of her connection to the Nazi government. This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in World War II and learning about the lives that were so deeply impacted during the war.

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