ACHUKA Book of the Day Wed 27 Jan 2021
[Holocaust Memorial Day]
“I have written an issue book, and although I have furnished it with (I hope) engaging characters and an exciting plot, I do not care about those half as much as I care about the issue I am writing about.
My book is about antisemitism – my ‘issue’. It’s about an ancient hatred that murdered my great-grandfather and all his family, including a little girl that my grandmother told me about when I was a child. They’d visited my great-grandfather in Warsaw, in the 1930s, and they were begged to take the girl home with them to Wales. They refused: ‘How could we take her?’ She had no papers to come to Britain,’ my grandmother explained, still haunted decades later by the sure knowledge of that child’s fate.” Keren David
Evie and Lottie are twin sisters, but they couldn’t be more different. Evie’s sharp and funny. Lottie’s a day-dreamer. Evie’s the fighter, Lottie’s the peace-maker. What they do have in common is their Jewishness – even though the family isn’t religious. When their mother gets a high-profile job and is targeted by antisemitic trolls on social media, the girls brush it off at first – but then the threats start getting uglier. . . What We’re Scared Of is a taut thriller, a tale of sibling friendship and rivalry – and a searing look at what happens when you scratch beneath the surface.
“There are many children’s books about the Holocaust (and one famous one that shamefully buries its truth in a ‘fable’), but my book is about modern day antisemitism as well. About hate that flows through the open sewer that social media can become. About nasty girls making snotty, hurtful remarks about their classmates. About tropes and fantasy and denial, conspiracy theories and lies. And bricks through windows, assaults in the street and attempts to murder Jews in Jewish places.” Keren David