After finding out that there's a Scholastic warehouse not far from the school i teach at, i decided to get my students books as holiday gifts. As preparation, I had them select their favorite genre. I had two students choose historical fiction: a boy and a girl. The warehouse had [b:War Horse|792161|War Horse (War Horse, #1)|Michael Morpurgo|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327870430s/792161.jpg|1575365], so I picked that up. And then I noticed this one nearby and thought I'd read it first before deciding whether to gift it or not.
Having the present-day bracket for the WWII story struck me as both a good thing and a bad thing. I'm afraid if I do give this to a student that the switching back and forth through time (even with the helpful font changes) might be too confusing. However, that being said, it also provides reassurance right from the start that at least the narrator survived the horrific events she's describing.
And my favorite thing about the bracketing set-up was that The story has the delightful tone of a grandmother telling her grandson a story. It was therefore able to be simple and sweet without ever coming across as simplistic or condescending.Add in the happy ending of not only finding Marlene again but having her recognize Lizzie, and
this is a book I'd happily give any of my more advanced readers.