by Rick Ostermann
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Set in an East Prussian village under Russian occupation in the year 1947, the 14-year-old Hans and his 9-year-old brother Karl lose their mother who dies of starvation during a hard winter. On her death bed the mother asks Hans to look after his younger brother. Even though Hans seems less capable of coming to terms with the challenges to be faced than his young brother, he is given all the responsibility: they need to make their way through to Lithuania where some farmers have the children’s interest at heart. On their way Hans loses Fritz while crossing a large river under attack. This marks the beginning of an odyssey in which Hans, driven by the desire to find his brother, joins a group of children on a journey to a foreign land and a fight against hunger, adverse weather and illness.