Would you risk your life to help a friend? In Nazi Germany, friendship between an Aryan German girl and a Jewish German girl is strictly verboten, and an act of kindness might mean death. Sabine and E
Would you risk your life to help a friend?
In Nazi Germany, friendship between an Aryan German girl and a Jewish German girl is strictly verboten, and an act of kindness might mean death. Sabine and Edie have been best friends since Kindergarten. Then Kristallnacht hits in 1938, shattering Jewish shop windows, synagogues, and their friendship. The girls, who once dreamed of stardom together, now take different paths — Edie escapes to Canada, and Sabine remains to experience life in her Nazi-controlled southern German town, eventually rescuing and supporting Edie's beloved Papa who poses as Sabine's grandfather.
Even though the girls are separated, the yellow ribbon that once decorated their identical dresses binds the girls' families in ways that contradict Nazi ideology. Throughout the seven long years of WWII, Sabine confronts how far courage can take her, while Edie finds her own strength to deal with leaving her father behind, integrating into a new country, and coming to terms with her sexual orientation. Each girl comes of age, experiencing first loves, loss, and joy. Without knowing how the other is doing across the ocean, they keep hope alive that their bond of friendship remains.
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Lori Weber is the author of eight young adult novels, including Yellow Mini, a novel in verse, and Deep Girls, a short-story collection; one historical middle grade novel, Lightning Lou; and one picture book, My Granny Loves Hockey. A native Montrealer, she lived for several years in Atlantic Canada; upon returning to Montreal, she began teaching English at Vanier College in 1994 before moving to John Abbott College in 1996, a position she recently retired from. She has delivered workshops in writing for teens through the Quebec Writers' Federation.
Lori currently lives in Dorval, Quebec, where she hopes to do more writing, taking inspiration from the beautiful Lac Saint Louis at her doorstep.
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"This wonderful novel has many positive features to offer to young readers. Some will enjoy the friendship of the two girls and the drama of their respective lives during the war years. Some will focus on the excitement and adventure of the novel, particularly in the background of Nazi Germany. And those readers who are interested in history will have a first-hand look at World War II from two quite different yet equally valid and valuable perspectives. Weber includes such notable historical events as Dieppe and D-Day as part of her narrative, so history buffs will enjoy both the fiction of the two girls and the facts of the historical time period.
"Weber looks at big philosophical questions. What happens during war, and how can anyone support such terrible devastation? Is one side always totally right or totally wrong? Can love and friendship ever triumph over hatred and ideology? The Ribbon Leaf will provide excitement and enjoyment for readers as well as causing them to look at some very difficult issues which remain with us long after the peace treaty was signed in 1947.
— CM Magazine
"A compelling and heartwarming read from cover to cover."
— Calgary Herald
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Nominated for the 2023 Red Maple Award