Searching for Lottie
Lottie, a talented violinist, disappears during the Holocaust. Can her grand-niece, Charlie, discover what happened? A long-lost cousin, a mysterious locket, a visit to Nana Rose in Florida, a diary written in German, and a very special violin all lead twelve-year-old Charlie to the truth about her great-aunt Lottie in this intriguing, intergenerational mystery. 12-year-old middle schooler Charlie, a budding violinist, decides to research the life of her great-aunt and namesake for a school ancestry project. Everyone in Charlie's family believes Great-Aunt Charlotte (Lottie), a violin prodigy, died at the hands of the Nazis, but the more Charlie uncovers about her long-lost relative, the more muddied Great-Aunt Lottie's story becomes. Could it be that Lottie somehow survived the war by hiding in Hungary? Could she even still be alive today? In Searching for Lottie, Susan Ross has written a highly personal work of historical fiction that is closely inspired by her own family members whose lives were lost in the Holocaust.

Searching for Lottie Details

TitleSearching for Lottie
Author
ReleaseFeb 26th, 2019
PublisherHoliday House
ISBN-139780823441662
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, World War II, Holocaust, Music, Historical, Historical Fiction, Novels, Contemporary

Searching for Lottie Review

  • Gabi Coatsworth
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent way to introduce young readers to the history of the Holocaust through one individual story. The book is based on real people and events, but the main protagonist is a contemporary 12-year-old girl who’s doing family research for a class assignment. The way the author brings Lottie, a young Jewish girl in WW2 Vienna and Budapest, into the life of Charlie, her present-day relative, is both clever and subtle. Both girls are very relatable in spite of the different worlds they grow up An excellent way to introduce young readers to the history of the Holocaust through one individual story. The book is based on real people and events, but the main protagonist is a contemporary 12-year-old girl who’s doing family research for a class assignment. The way the author brings Lottie, a young Jewish girl in WW2 Vienna and Budapest, into the life of Charlie, her present-day relative, is both clever and subtle. Both girls are very relatable in spite of the different worlds they grow up in. And the book is a page-turner, too, with a satisfying ending that demonstrates how life can go on after tragedy. I received an ARC copy of the book.
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  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    January 1, 1970
    When seventh-grader Charlotte "Charlie" Roth is given a family tree project to do for school, she decides to try to find out what happened to her great aunt and namesake, Charlotte "Lottie" Kulka, older sister to Charlie's Nana Rose. The family has always assumed that Lottie had perished in the Holocaust, but now Charlie wants to learn more about her and maybe even discover what really happened to her. Lottie had been a talented violinist living with her family in Vienna, and had been sent to Bu When seventh-grader Charlotte "Charlie" Roth is given a family tree project to do for school, she decides to try to find out what happened to her great aunt and namesake, Charlotte "Lottie" Kulka, older sister to Charlie's Nana Rose. The family has always assumed that Lottie had perished in the Holocaust, but now Charlie wants to learn more about her and maybe even discover what really happened to her. Lottie had been a talented violinist living with her family in Vienna, and had been sent to Budapest, Hungary to study music there just before the Nazis annexed Austria. Lottie's younger sister Rose and mother survived the incoming Nazis by fleeing Vienna after their father and husband was arrested. He to was never heard from again.Nana Rose is more than happy to help Charlie, and sends her an old diary of Lottie's that she had managed to save. The only problem is that it is looks like it is written in German, but when a friend's grandmother tries to read it for Charlie, she tells her it is a music journal that includes all the people she went to concerts with and that it is not only written in German, but in Hungarian, too. Two names stand out - one is Nathan Kulka and the other is Johann Schmidt.Using mementos, old photos, letters, Lottie's journal, and Nana Rose's scrapbooks and memories, Lottie slowly begins to form a picture of who Lottie was, but she is not closer to finding out what happened to her. Nana Rose knows who Nathan Kulka was, but never found him, either. The son of a dentist, she thought maybe he might also be a dentist and living in Connecticut after the war, but she had never followed up on it. Could it be that he was indeed a long lost relative who might be able to shed some light on Lottie's fate?Like her namesake, Charlie is also a talented violinist and is hoping to be named the school's orchestra concertmaster, an honor usually reserved for 8th graders. In between research, school, family life, and thinking about her crush, Charlie spends as much time as possible practicing for her audition. When the results come in, Charlie is surprised to learn that there is a boy who is crushing on her.Searching for Lottie is a novel based on Susan Ross's family history, which you can read more about on her website Here and in her Author's Note at the end of the book. I thought that Charlie's quest to discover what happened to Lottie, her life as a middle schooler, and her aspiration to become concertmaster were nicely intertwined in this short novel. I loved seeing Charlie's determination even in the face of disappointment, her courage in approaching strangers, not all of them friendly, to find out more about Lottie, and her patience with her grandmother, who is clearly the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Nana Rose's fading memory highlights how imperative it has become to record stories regarding the Holocaust that might otherwise be lost forever, especially as more and more witnesses to it pass away. One thing I was surprised by is that Nana Rose never tried to get in touch with the person in Connecticut she thought could be Nathan Kulka, despite her great love for her missing sister. I know she said it was too painful, but still, Kulka isn't a common name and she could have returned to this later when she had some distance from the past.Still, I thought this was an interesting novel, and despite one or two terribly convenient coincidences, one I would recommend. Ross does manage to let her readers know that the trauma of the Holocaust is real and deep, but without being overly graphic, making this a good book for kids in the 4th, 5th, 6th grades who may just be learning about WWII.This book is recommended for readers age 8+This book was an EARC received from the publisher, Holiday House
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    I am grateful to have read an ARC copy of this story after winning a Twitter giveaway by the author.Charlie, a 7th grade violinist, has a school project - to research someone in her family. She decides to to look for information about her namesake, her grandmother's sister who, everyone believes, perished years ago during World War Two at the hands of the Nazis. Not only do Charlie and her great aunt Lottie share a name (Charlotte), but they also shared a love of classical music and the violin. I am grateful to have read an ARC copy of this story after winning a Twitter giveaway by the author.Charlie, a 7th grade violinist, has a school project - to research someone in her family. She decides to to look for information about her namesake, her grandmother's sister who, everyone believes, perished years ago during World War Two at the hands of the Nazis. Not only do Charlie and her great aunt Lottie share a name (Charlotte), but they also shared a love of classical music and the violin. Charlie is determined to find out as much as she can about her great aunt, but the more she learns, the more confusing the trails becomes. Told mostly in present time (2010) with a few flashbacks to Lottie's time, this middle grade mystery is a page turner that will have readers longing to know Lottie's true story. Publishing on 2/26/19, this will definitely be a great add to my middle grade classroom library.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    When a book is so enthralling that I read it instead of watching the Saints-Eagles, you know it's a good book. Not just the plot, but the characters. So good!
  • ANDREW SOMMER
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful book!
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    Middle grader Charlie loves playing the violin and dreams of becoming concertmaster of her school orchestra. Charlie is talented enough and practices quite often, but she also gets nervous at times, especially during auditions. When she begins to research the life of her great-aunt, Lottie, her namesake, she learns some fascinating facts about the violin virtuoso, who presumably died during the Holocaust. Charlie's own grandmother has valuable information and a diary to share that just might sol Middle grader Charlie loves playing the violin and dreams of becoming concertmaster of her school orchestra. Charlie is talented enough and practices quite often, but she also gets nervous at times, especially during auditions. When she begins to research the life of her great-aunt, Lottie, her namesake, she learns some fascinating facts about the violin virtuoso, who presumably died during the Holocaust. Charlie's own grandmother has valuable information and a diary to share that just might solve the mystery of Lottie's whereabouts. But the more Charlie learns, the more convoluted everything becomes. I liked this story, based in part on the author's own family history, but there are quite a few moments that seemed too good to be true--that her friend's grandmother could read the old German script, that Nana Rose had never shared any of her stories about the Holocaust with Charlie's mother, and that the gruff neighbor she fears, Dr. Szemere, is from Hungary, where Lottie spent some time. The last chapter, set in Budapest in 1944, was intriguing, and I so wish the author had chosen to tell more of that particular story or woven more of it into the central narrative. The idea of engraved pendants and chains for a certain group of the Resistance against the Nazis is fascinating and deserved more attention. Still, many middle grade readers will be drawn to this story because of its modern setting.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    While this book sets itself up to be a riveting page-turner, it falls short with character construction and consistency. Charlie has started a school project about her family history. After deciding to research her long lost Great Aunt Lottie--or Charlotte, her namesake--she realizes that she doesn't want to just write a report, she actually wants to FIND Lottie. Scenes of Charlie's ever-deepening immersion into the mystery of Lottie are dispersed between scenes of Charlie's anxiety over succeed While this book sets itself up to be a riveting page-turner, it falls short with character construction and consistency. Charlie has started a school project about her family history. After deciding to research her long lost Great Aunt Lottie--or Charlotte, her namesake--she realizes that she doesn't want to just write a report, she actually wants to FIND Lottie. Scenes of Charlie's ever-deepening immersion into the mystery of Lottie are dispersed between scenes of Charlie's anxiety over succeeding at Violin in her school orchestra. Secondary characters that Charlie seems invested in are underdeveloped and confusing. Ross falls victim to the children's literature cliche of the young characters inevitably being smarter than the adults-- particularly Charlie's mom who seems to go from being passionate and pushy in helping Charlie to be erratic and not understanding societal norms. The ending of the book is too conveniently tied up to really explore all of the elements of the mystery that Ross initially presents. Although many characters are hollow stereotypes, Searching for Lottie's quick pace has the potential to position the book as an entertaining addition to the wealth of books about the aftermath of the Holocaust.
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to @susanrossauthor and @holidayhousebks for the free review copy to share with #kidlitexchange; all opinions are my own..〰〰⭐⭐⭐⭐💫/5 for SEARCHING FOR LOTTIE, a beautifully written mystery that involves the Holocaust, classical music and long-lost family members. I know this book will be a big hit in my community. We have a lot of student musicians who will love reading about Charlie’s obsession with the violin and we also have quite a few students who enjoy reading Holocaust-related liter Thanks to @susanrossauthor and @holidayhousebks for the free review copy to share with #kidlitexchange; all opinions are my own..〰️〰️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 for SEARCHING FOR LOTTIE, a beautifully written mystery that involves the Holocaust, classical music and long-lost family members. I know this book will be a big hit in my community. We have a lot of student musicians who will love reading about Charlie’s obsession with the violin and we also have quite a few students who enjoy reading Holocaust-related literature. This book is accessible for grades 3+, but will still resonate with students in middle school. It was a quick read for me (I finished it in a day!). I think a lot of students will be eager to finish the book to discover if Charlie finds her long lost family..〰️〰️A school history project leads Charlie Roth to investigate her namesake, her grandmother’s long lost sister, Lottie. Charlie and Lottie both share a love of playing the violin and even have some similar physical features. Thought to have died in the Holocaust, clues begin to indicate that Lottie may have lived. Will Charlie discover the truth about Lottie?.〰️〰️#bookreview #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #mglit #mgbooks
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  • Marta Sala
    January 1, 1970
    3.5DNF1° x 3x1
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