Winner of the 2023 Gold Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in Non-Fiction: Chapter Book
Set against a backdrop of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, the reign of Nazi Germany, and the entire course of World War II in Europe, American Shoes recounts the tumultuous childhood of a young American girl and her family trapped within a country that turned against itself, where human decency eroded and then vaporized. Forced to grow up in the midst of endemic fear stoked by a ravenous madman, American Shoes portrays the breakdown of a society from a child’s point of view, deep inside a land where millions of law-abiding citizens were targeted as threats, and then removed for extermination.
This is the story of a brave girl who, despite not being Jewish, was perceived to be one of those threats and was compelled to keep her American identity secret for fear of her family’s arrest, concentration camp placement, or worse. Fighting to see through a relentless barrage of Nazi lies and propaganda, caught within a nation where resistance or opposition meant incarceration if not certain death, American Shoesilluminates one family’s struggle to survive against impossible odds as a cataclysmic world war marched closer and closer until it was upon them.
Vividly told for the first time after seven decades of a family’s collective silence, American Shoes reveals the story of a brave and spirited young girl named Rosel who refused to accept the new order of a world gone mad, inside a society that became more sinister and macabre than any childhood nightmare could ever be. Driven by the faint memories of the land where she was born—a hazy beacon that guided her toward freedom and a new life—his is the story of Rosemarie Lengsfeld Turke.
Title: American Shoes: A Refugee’s Story
Author: Garrett Turke and Rosemarie Lengsfeld Turke