The Dog in the Wood
When the Russians invade Fritz’s family flees.
Fritz loves his vegetable garden. His tomatoes are delicious, he’s attentive to the asparagus, and he remembers how to keep slugs off the strawberries. But his tranquil life on the family farm is about to end–the Russians are near, Hitler has died, and known Nazi sympathizers like the Friedrich family brace for the Bolsheviks to take over their town. They move to the distant house of his grandmother, Oma Clara. Life there for Fritz is horrible, made even worse when Communists arrest his mother and Lech, the Polish farmhand who has tended the Friedrich land, for hiding weapons. Though there is no evidence to support the accusation, Gertrude and Lech are taken away, and Fritz commits to finding where they are imprisoned. Despite the boy’s heroic efforts, the story ends with one of the war’s ambiguities: that Lech and Gertrude may not return home.
- Ages: 10 - 14
- Grades: 4 - 6
- Pages: 168