In 1930s Berlin, young Henrik, the son of a Jewish father and Aryan mother, watches the world around him crumbling: people are rioting in the streets, a strange yellow star begins appearing in shop windows, and friends are forced to move—or they simply disappear.
After his father becomes gravely ill, Henrik and his little sister, Greta, are taken by their mother to Poland for safety. However, not even the pastoral surroundings of their new home can protect them from the terrors of war. When the Nazis invade and Greta is kidnapped, Henrik must shed his youthful innocence and search for his lost sister, a quest that will further reveal a harrowing landscape of violence and struggle?but also unexpected connections.
Uniquely told from the perspective of youth plunged into adult chaos, Pastel Orphans is a coming-of-age story that explores profound lessons in self-belief, kindness, and human endurance.
Revised edition: This edition of Pastel Orphans includes editorial revisions.