monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Room For One MorePublisher: Orca, 2019

For twelve-year-old Rosetta Wolfson, the war in Europe seems very far off from her home in Canada. Then Mr. Schwartzberg comes to tea and asks Rosetta's parents if they will take in a young war refugee. Isaac joins the family and becomes a ready-made brother to Rosetta and her two sisters.

Isaac's arrival brings change. Her best friend's handsome brother doesn't seem as attractive after he reveals himself as anti-Semitic, and Rosetta begins to suspect her friend may agree with him. As Rosetta and Isaac become friends and he shares his story with her, she helps him learn the fate of other family members and helps him shape a promising future in his new country.

"As timely as historical fiction can be" -- Kirkus

"Polak's novel introduces us to an often-overlooked facet of the Holocaust: that Britain expelled German nationals .... shipping them to internment camps in Canada and Australia.... Secondary plots ... are also well-handled. A strong family story" -- Booklist

"This novel for grades 3-7 comes from an experienced author who is respectful of the ideas and developing values of the young people for whom she is writing. Polak gives information about the horrors of Nazi Germany, especially its treatment of Jewish people, through the eyes of a teenage boy. The novel is evocative yet sensitive. The concept of accepting other religions and beliefs forms the foundation of the story but never becomes preachy" -- Historical Novel Society

"Montreal author Monique Polak has taken a refreshingly different slant on consequences of the Holocaust in ... Room for One More.... Rosetta is a most appealing character, marked with both garrulous charm and spontaneity" -- Winnipeg Free Press

"Although painful to read, the stories Isaac tells the family about life under Nazi occupation are muted enough to help children begin to comprehend the loss, displacement and sadness engendered by the war without being overwhelmed" -- Jewish Book Council