Peter in Peril
‘Peter in Peril‘ is Peter’s true account of his Budapest childhood during Nazi occupation. Peter is Jewish. At first his family must wear yellow stars on their clothing to declare their faith. Then, Peter’s beloved Roza returns to the country to escape the tyranny. His family is told they must pack a single bag each and move far away. Peter’s neighbours are asked to watch over their home. Peter cannot decide which single toy he might take. Their new home will be shared with many other Jewish families. Peter’s father goes into hiding.
Helen Bate’s stark graphic images, emotionally coloured, support the directness of Peter’s recall. The boy who invented four button football with his cousin, and baked cakes with Roza, is out of his depth. He does not understand the family’s isolation and fragile survival.
Somehow, telling this true story so authentically, through a boy’s experiences, promotes the idiotic fury of Nazism in WWII. We identify with Peter and his family. We fear for their future and feel as uncertain as they must have, of their survival.
For adults, teachers, or readers, ‘Peter in Peril’ is a book that tells the story of an atrocious, must-never-be- repeated age of hatred, effectively and movingly.