They Went Left

Monica Hesse (Author) Caitlin Davies (Read by)


A tour de force historical mystery from Monica Hesse, the bestselling and award-winning author of Girl in the Blue Coat.

Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else--her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja--they went left.

Zofia's last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once.But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her--or help her rebuild her world.

Product Details

$35.00  $32.20
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
April 07, 2020
5.8 X 1.2 X 5.7 inches | 0.45 pounds
Compact Disc
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Monica Hesse, a columnist at the Washington Post, is the author of several acclaimed books. including Girl in the Blue Coat and American Fire.

Caitlin Davies is a New York City-based actor and audiobook narrator who studied acting at the Eugene O'Neill National Institute, the British American Drama Academy, and the Barrow Group. She specializes in audiobooks for teens and young adults.


"[Hesse] again uses a well-researched historical backdrop to tell a powerful coming-of-age story."

-- "Washington Post"

"Featuring factual locations and covering a period of time not often focused on, this is an excellent book to add to a Holocaust collection."

-- "School Library Connection (starred review)"

"Hesse again proves to be a master of verisimilitude, bringing the realities of existence in the immediate postwar period to visceral life through painstaking detail. Her beautifully realized, highly empathetic characters come to life, too, in the pages of this superbly crafted novel."

-- "Booklist (starred review)"

"Hesse has written several YA novels that touch on WWII traumas, and this one shows her gift at coming at an oft-told story from a new angle, as well as her compelling language, characterization, and ability to fill a story with realistic details and tension."

-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

"Hesse takes a setting we think we understand and shifts it in an important way...A tightly plotted exploration of the consequences of fear."

-- "New York Times"

"Those interested in historical fiction, romance, and mystery will not be able to put this book down."

-- "School Library Journal (starred review)"