The Stars We Never Saw (Paperback)
Growing up in Vienna in the 1930s, Ilse Stadler has the typical dreams and questions of any child- how she fits into the world, what her purpose is, and who the mysterious woman who lives next door is. Her curiosities about the stars above her and the shapes of the constellations are all answered by her father's exciting bedtime stories. Ilse goes into hiding after the Anschluss, when the Nazis invade and take her parents away.
Unbeknownst to Ilse, her father has crafted an escape plan for her, and she is whisked away to a small town in the Alps by the name of Maria Alm. In the town, Ilse tries to continue her life as normal- she bonds with her host, Aunt Gisela, and befriends a fun-loving girl named Greta, while grappling with feelings of betrayal to her old life. She's not a country girl, she's a city girl. She's the gleeful red-haired girl that plays with her father at the park. Right?
But soon, Ilse discovers a Jewish boy hiding in a barn on the hill behind her new home with whom she quickly connects and cares for. And after the town is searched for hidden Jews, it is clear he needs a safe place to live. As the Nazis begin to take control of Austria, Ilse must rely on her courage and wit to protect those she loves- and keep hope that she will one day find herself against all odds.