Read The Dog in the Wood by Monika Schröder Online


When the Russians come, where do you go? Fritz loves his vegetable garden. His tomatoes are delicious, he's attentive to the asparagus, and he remembers how to keep slugs off the strawberries. But his tranquil life on the family farm is about to end—the Russians are near, Hitler has died, and known Nazi sympathizers like the Friedrich family brace for the Bolsheviks to takWhen the Russians come, where do you go? Fritz loves his vegetable garden. His tomatoes are delicious, he's attentive to the asparagus, and he remembers how to keep slugs off the strawberries. But his tranquil life on the family farm is about to end—the Russians are near, Hitler has died, and known Nazi sympathizers like the Friedrich family brace for the Bolsheviks to take over their town. Local German supporters of the Bolshevik regime seize the Friedrich farm in the name of Communism, forcing Fritz's family to flee to the distant house of his grandmother, Oma Clara. Life there for Fritz is horrible, made even worse when Communists arrest his mother and Lech, the Polish farmhand who has tended the Friedrich land, for hiding weapons. Though there is no evidence to support the accusation, Gertrude and Lech are taken away, and Fritz commits to finding where they are imprisoned. Despite the boy's heroic efforts, the story ends with one of the war's ambiguities: that Lech and Gertrude may not return home.Heavy footsteps sounded on the tiles in the hallway. Then three soldiers entered the living room. They all wore torn green jackets with small red flags sewn onto their sleeves. They shouted in Russian. Fritz held Mama's hand and tried to stay as close to her as possible on the sofa. One of the soldiers broke the glass of the sideboard with the butt of his rifle, took out the bottle of brandy, drank from it, and passed it to the others. They rummaged through the china cabinet, throwing the plates on the floor. . . . Mama held his hand with a firm grip. Suddenly, one soldier pointed his rifle at them. "No!" Mama screamed. Fritz held his breath. "Stojat!" Lech stepped toward the middle of the room, holding his arms up. —FROM THE BOOK...

Title : The Dog in the Wood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781590787014
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dog in the Wood Reviews

  • Alex Baugh
    2019-05-14 08:54

    The Dog in the Wood is a realistic look at what happened at the end of World War II to one family, told through the eyes of a child. As the Russians advanced, they left a trail of death, destruction and devastation generally directed at woman, children and the elderly in retaliation for Germany’s attempt to invade their country. Schröder has taken these events of the war and written a moving account through the eyes of a 10 year old boy.It is April 1945, the Second World War is ending and the Russians are advancing towards Schwartz, a small farming community in eastern Germany. But the war isn’t officially over yet, and anticipating the Russian arrival, Grandpa has decided that he and his grandson Fritz Friedrich will fight to defend their land against the “Bolshevik enemy.”Grandpa has always been a staunch Nazi supporter and had always believed the the war would end with a German victory. But when it is announced on the the radio that Hitler had ‘fallen’ at the head of his troops, Grandpa knows the war was over and Germany is defeated. The next morning, Fritz finds Grandpa and Oma Lou hanging in the barn, choosing death rather than defeat. The Friedrich family, Fritz, his mother, older sister Irmi, and now Lech, their Polish laborer, decide to stay on the farm. But soon the Russians do arrive, and two officers move in and use the house as their headquarters. One, Mikhail Petrov, treats the family very kindly, even befriending Fritz.After stealing and pillaging the Schwartz area, the Russians move on and the town begins to govern itself again under the communist system. The Friedrich’s have their farm taken away to be evenly divided among new farmers and refugees. The Friedrich’s are told to leave immediately and they, too, soon become one of the many refugee families trekking westward. Arriving at Oma Clara’s house in Sempow, they hope to begin anew. And at first, things seem to go well, but soon Lech and Fritz’s mother are arrested. Oma Clara can’t get any information about them from the authorities and Fritz is faced with a big decision about what to do.The Dog in the Wood was Schröder’s debut novel in 2009 (she has since written Saraswati’s Way and more recently, My Brother’s Shadow, my review here.) Her writing style in the two books I have read is clear and straightforward with no words wasted or superfluous. In this novel, she has managed to get across the revenge done by Russian soldiers as well as by some Germans themselves without being too graphic for young readers. I thought it interesting that Fritz’s friend Paul, whose father is in a concentration camp for being a political enemy, is so aware of his father’s Communist dogma, whereas Fritz does not seem aware of Nazi dogma, despite his Grandfather. He is a very sensitive boy with a strong sense of right and wrong, who loves animals and gardening, but who is rather timid. Yet as his world crumbles around him, he must try to find courage and strength within himself to overcome his timidity, and with the help of a true friend, to take matters into his own hands in order to find out about his mother and Lech. The Dog in the Wood is a not to be missed, powerful coming of age story.This book is recommended for readers age 11 and up.This book was sent to me by the author

  • Monica Edinger
    2019-05-10 06:46

    Monika Schroder clearly tells a story that is probably unfamiliar to most American children -- that of the post-war Russian occupation of eastern Germany that eventually led to the two Germanys. Being first generation German myself I have close family friends who experienced the horrors of this as children themselves. Schroder was inspired to tell this story based on what little she knew of her own father's experience as the child of farmers affected by the occupation. She doesn't hold back and the story is harsh, if not as harsh as of the stories she heard when she interviewed others in her father's village. An important story told well.

  • Christy Stewart
    2019-05-14 02:44

    A great book that doesn't milk the gravity of the 2nd world war for the sake of plot. The normalcy and commonality of the characters give not only respect to the aftermath of the war but an honest perception on what becomes of people and their ideologies.

  • Pam
    2019-05-23 03:27

    Covering a time period not trodden by authors yet, first-time author Monika Schröder sets her book in East Germany as WWII ends and the Russians begin their occupation. The Dog in the Wood is written about a boy, Fritz, who lives with his mother, sister, and father's parents (his father died in the war) on a farm as he copes with the tremendous amount of uncertainty, upheaval, and loss that being occupied brings. Hope for a better future proves harder and harder for Fritz and his family to find with each upheaval. Dealing with refugees, suicide, Russian troops, quartering Russian soldiers, and everyday realities of occupation, this story is well paced with wonderful material for thoughtful discussion. I found it well written and harrowing but not terrifying. It makes an excellent introduction to life in the early Eastern bloc though I'd recommend it for teenagers not elementary students. The reading isn't difficult, but the material is too mature for elementary students.

  • Clay
    2019-05-13 07:27

    What moved me much about this spare book, and what was poignantly rendered, was the gradual and realistic awakening of the main character, ten-year-old Fritz. As Germany falls in April 1945, he moves from unconditional lover of his German family, his friend Paul and his country, and begins to see each one as the complex and ambiguous--and sometimes evil, cowardly or false--things they are. As the child of a difficult parent and the lover of a country often wrong, I thought how much more difficult, if not impossible, navigating this territory must have been for a boy in Nazi Germany. Schroder adeptly renders the nuances of young Fritz's changing feelings and allegiances as he moves towards the heroic and the true.

  • Thomasville Teens
    2019-05-22 06:55

    As World War II draws to an end, Russian soldiers occupy Schwartz, Germany, bringing both friendship and hardship to the family of ten-year-old Fritz, whose grandfather was a Nazi sympathizer, eventually forcing them to leave their farm, then arresting Fritz's mother and her hired hand.

  • Deanna
    2019-05-19 08:46

    I won this book today on Goodreads. I'm excited to get it and read it. Here's the description: It is the end of April 1945, in a small village in eastern Germany and ten-year-old Fritz is worried. The front is coming closer and the Soviet Army’s invasion of their home can be only a few days away. Grandpa Karl, a Nazi sympathizer, takes Fritz into the forest that surrounds the family farm to show him a secret.Under a tall pine tree, Grandpa Karl has dug a pit and covered it with branches. The hole is to hide Fritz’s sister, mother, and grandmother when the Russians invade their village. Grandpa Karl is convinced that he and Fritz will defend to the death the Friedrich family.But when the Russian soldiers arrive, Fritz, his sister, and his mother find themselves alone. They look to Lech, a Polish farmhand, for help, but new communist policies force them off their farm and into the role of refugees. Separated from his home and eventually his family, Fritz has to find his own way in a crumbling world. In this debut novel for middle grade readers, Monika Schröder recalls a dramatic story of loss and survival in a changing Germany at the end of World War II. ******************This book finally arrived! This book was interesting and a quick read. I read it will my children in mind since it is a youth book. I thought that is was a little more graphic than I would want my children reading right now. This covers a very short time in German History. It helps you to see what it was like for the Germans when the Russians arrived. While it was a moving story, mostly a true story in fact, I don't know how important this part of history is to my childrens education right now. I will save this book in the event that we get serious with WWII history, and want to delve in deeper.

  • Books Kids Like
    2019-05-04 08:34

    Anticipating the invasion of their small East German village by Russians, Grandpa shows Fritz a camouflaged hole in the woods where the women can hide. Grandpa, a well-known Nazi sympathizer, believes that he will be arrested or worse now that Hitler is dead and the war is lost. The whole idea of the Russian take-over, the implied danger to his mother, grandmother, and sister, and his grandfather’s continued loyalty to the Nazis proves very disturbing to Fritz. By the time the Russian do enter the village, Grandfather and Grandmother are dead. Shortly after, the family’s land is divided up, and they must move in with Fritz’s maternal grandmother. Then, his mother and Lech, their Polish handyman, run afoul of the local authorities. Fritz decides on a danger course of action to try to secure their freedom. Schroder writes about a period of World War II that I’ve never seen handled in children’s historical fiction. In the endnotes, Schroder tells her readers that the book’s events are based on her father’s childhood. It was quite interesting to learn about the Russian take-over of East Germany from the viewpoint of the German citizens. Schroder’s handling of the events seems factual and fair-handed.

  • Sarah Evans
    2019-04-29 05:28

    Inspired by her family’s experiences after World War II, Schröder beautifully weaves a poignant tale of a child caught in the aftermath of war. In 1945, 10-year-old Fritz is a boy who prefers gardening to talk of war. He lives with his widowed mother and his sister at his grandparent’s farm in a small East German village. Tensions are high as the war is not going well and soon the Russians are expected to march through. Grandpa Karl, a Nazi sympathizer, and Oma Lou choose suicide rather than face the takeover. The small family holds together with the tender assistance of Lech, a Polish farmhand, but soon the new communist regulations separate them not only from their land but from each other. Fritz is a tender and believable character who struggles through betrayal and grief to find his own inner strength (the title refers to finding a sculpture shape to carve within the wood, much as Fritz finds himself). The dark cover won’t pull readers in, but it is definitely worth hand selling this short (163 pages) read to older elementary and middle school students, and even older teens, particularly those with an interest in the historical era or those who have emigrated from contemporary war torn countries themselves. Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-05-01 05:53

    Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo.comIt's 1945, and the Germans have invaded Russia. War has taken Fritz's father. After his grandparents commit suicide when they hear about the German invasion, Fritz, his mother, and sister are forced to make it on their own on the farm Fritz has grown up on.As the invasion spreads and communist policies get strict, the three are forced to abandon their home and hit the road like many other refugees. Will they find a place to call home? Will they find happiness?Based on the author's grandfather's experiences, this novel is heart-wrenching, endearing, and tells a story from a perspective that's not often told. The characters are well-developed, and the plot keeps its readers' interest.Those who like historical fiction, WWII novels, and true stories will enjoy reading THE DOG IN THE WOOD.

  • Sandra Stiles
    2019-05-21 08:38

    Based on events in the life of the author's grandfather, "The dog in the Wood" is just one story of what happened after the Russians occupied Eastern Germany. This is a topic most students know little about. Fritz his mother and sister live on his grandparents farm. The grandparents take their own lives after learning the Nazis have lost because they were strong supporters of the Nazis. When the Russians come, they take what they want including the farm. Then the mother is accused of a crime and hauled off. The courage Fritz finds to help his mother is amazing. I have several students who have recently worked on research projects about the events that took place after WWII in Germany. I believe they will enjoy this book as much as I have. Not all of my students will understand it. It is definitely not a book for those who are very sensitive.

  • Sheila Welch
    2019-05-14 05:50

    The Dog in the Wood is the story of a typical boy who is caught in the turmoil of the aftermath of WWII. Based on true family stories, the novel has an authentic voice. Fritz experiences many devastating events, including seeing his dead grandparents after they've hung themselves and witnessing his mother's arrest. His confusion, anger, and sadness are shown clearly as he gradually adjusts to his new life. The dog in the wood refers to the wood carving he's trying to complete. I found this to be a nice touch. He's been told that the dog is there in the wood, he just needs to bring it out. As if to say that the potential for something good to happen (such as peace or love or freedom) is waiting for us, but we must work to make it a reality.

  • Mary Ann
    2019-05-19 07:46

    This fictional accounting of the time after Hitler’s death takes place in Eastern Germany during the invasion of Russian troops and is anything but a feel good story until you reach the concluding chapters of the book. Its value lies in the stories of the individual lives touched within the story and how mankind did or did not behave in a humane way. Teachers of WWII history should incorporate this story into their classes.

  • Tim Byers
    2019-05-07 01:49

    Ten year old Fritz faces the end of World War II in the East. The Soviet Red Army occupies his family's farm. Grandpa, the only remaining male in the family and a staunch Nazi, makes his stand. Fritz, his mother, and Polish farmhand Lech, forced to leave the farm, face the harsh conditions of the new order. The tale of survival, told from an under-served perspective, weaves a solid coming of age story.

  • Wally
    2019-05-06 09:33

    At the end of World War 2, ten-year-old Fritz faces increasing hardship after his Nazi-sympathizing grandparents commit suicide and leave him, his mother, and a Polish farmhand to fend for themselves. The writing is solid, but not spectacular. The story is based on the author’s family history, so the narrative structure is a little thin and the characters are a little weak. Still, this slice of postwar history is not covered much, so this could fill a need. Recommended for grades 5-9.

  • A.
    2019-04-25 09:37

    I'd say 3.5 really. The thing I liked best about this book was the unique perspective it provided - that there are victims on every side, and that war makes difficult the lives of all it touches.I highly recommend this book, especially to young readers, to be read with their parents. It would open really great discussion and encourage an open mind and a caring heart.I also liked that Fritz learned from both of his Omas, that life does go on, and that it can be good.

  • Kitty
    2019-05-06 09:50

    This book was written by the librarian in my last school in Delhi, India. I was a bit put off by it in the beginning, thinking it quite depressing. She ends up rounding out the characters personalities well and the ending is very satisfactory. I can see it as a great read for high 5-7th graders as they explore the consequences of war.

  • Sandy Brehl
    2019-05-14 02:28

    World War II novels are wide ranging in setting and premise, tapping into personal life stories in order to breathe life and perspective into world-shattering events from more than half a century ago. This one takes the unique viewpoint of a German boy and his family after Germany's defeat and occupation by the Soviet forces. It's intense and intimate, with realism, tension, and raw emotions.

  • Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
    2019-05-09 08:31

    Won in a Goodreads giveaway. After some delay, the author browbeat the publisher (actually, she probably reminded them nicely) and the book arrived.I think this would be a decent way to introduce a young child to some of the issues surrounding World War II, particularly life for German civilians during the late war and its aftermath.

  • Heather
    2019-05-07 02:55

    I really like that the author doesn't sugarcoat anything. She shows Fritz's struggles as they really would have been. I would recommend this to older kids and young teens because of the hard facts, particularly because of the suicide. This would make a great title for talking about loyalties and confusion and the aftermath of war.

  • michael
    2019-05-02 08:26

    An excellent book about hard times. Shroder avoids a Disney ending, where impossible things happen. Instead, we see the book's resolution in the insight 10 year old Fritz gains about the importance of facing his fears and doing the best he can.The prose is spare but beautiful. This is a book that children and adults who appreciate good writing will find well worth reading. I am a fan!

  • Addison Children's Services
    2019-05-14 09:27

    Fritz and his mother, grandparents and sister have fared WWII pretty well. They have a nice farm, a Polish forced laborer, 10 milk cows, and the garden is coming along nicely. But the Russians are coming and times are about to change.

  • Beth
    2019-05-17 08:30

    The writing is not spectacular, but it is a riveting story and this book does fill a historical fiction niche that hasn't been delved into in children's literature so I like that the author was able to fill a void.

  • Gina
    2019-05-07 04:51

    This was an interesting book. It is around the end of WWII in Germany when the Russians move in. It is told from the point of view of a 10 year old German boy. This is for older readers. I would say 6th grade and up.

  • Nikki
    2019-05-04 08:44

    It a little bit interesting, but I couldn't get into it. It doesn't have a good beginning or end either. The plot is rather boring too.

  • Gabriele Goldstone
    2019-05-21 09:35

    Good story. Tells of the time after the war when the German civilians had to deal with the conquering Soviets. Simple, unembellished style.

  • Alana
    2019-05-06 04:49

    another great book of 'those not typically written about.' great warm characters, hard situations, and trying times. a story about the time after the reigh fell and the russians' occupation.

  • CRLS
    2019-04-25 09:53

    Germany after World War II

  • Angela Sunshine
    2019-05-08 01:32

    I enjoyed this story but the ending seemed very abrupt to me. I'd say more like 2.5 stars, really.

  • Read for your future!
    2019-05-05 08:33