Project Description

Eleanor's Story Cover Art
Author Q&A
Discussion Guide

Eleanor’s Story

An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany

by Eleanor Ramrath Garner

The engrossing coming-of-age autobiography of a young American caught in Nazi Germany during World War II.

“A must-have memoir about an aspect of wartime survival not often written about in children’s literature.” ―Booklist

During the Great Depression, when Eleanor is nine, her family moves from her beloved America to Germany, from which her parents had emigrated years before and where her father has been offered a job he cannot pass up. But when war suddenly breaks out as her family is crossing the Atlantic, they realize returning to the United States isn’t an option. They arrive in Berlin as enemy aliens.

Eleanor tries to maintain her American identity as she feels herself pulled into the turbulent life roiling around her. She and her brother are enrolled in German schools and in Hitler’s Youth (a requirement). She fervently hopes for an Allied victory, yet for years she must try to survive the Allied bombs shattering her neighborhood. Her family faces separations, bombings, hunger, the final fierce battle for Berlin, the Russian invasion, and the terrors of Soviet occupancy.

This compelling story is heart-racing at times and immerses readers in a first-hand account of Nazi Germany, surviving World War II as a civilian, and immigration.

Format: Paperback
Price: $9.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-296-5
Publication Date: 8/1/2003
Page Count: 224
Size: 6 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 12 – 16
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-681-9
Age Range: 12 – 16
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 6.4
F&P: Y, Gr 6, Genre B
Lexile: 940L
Themes: Europe During WWII, Coming of Age, Memoir
BISAC 1: YAN006000 YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / General
BISAC 2: YAN025130 YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / History / Military & Wars
BISAC 3: YAN025070 YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / History / Europe


“This powerful coming-of-age tale is told with intensity and also with the freshness of teenage years remembered: there are repeated brutal bombings and countless brushes with death; there are also friends, holiday celebrations, and two babies born to the family during the war, who engage Eleanor’s love and protection. There’s also a much anticipated return to the U. S. It all coalesces into a must-have memoir about an aspect of wartime survival not often written about in children’s literature.” ―Booklist

“A striking, intriguing, and moving read…All in all, it’s an eye-opening read that offers a different look at things for someone who has some background knowledge/experience of WWII, but also is a really neat introduction for students.” ―A Word’s Worth


Best Books for Young Adults ―YALSA, 2000

Children’s Book Award (Older Reader Category) ―International Reading Association/Children’s Book

Council, 2000

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2000

Teachers’ Choices (Advanced) ― International Reading Association, 2000

Read More

Young Adults’ Choices ― International Reading Association, 2001

Children’s Books Mean Business ―American Booksellers Association and Children’s Book Council, 2001

Not Just for Children Anymore! ―Children’s Book Council, 2001

VOYA Nonfiction Honor List ―Voice of Youth Advocates, 1999

Books for the Teen Age ―New York Public Library, 2000-2001

California Collections (High School) ―California Readers, 2001-2007

San Diego Book Awards (Children’s Nonfiction) ―San Diego Book Awards Association, 1999

Garden State Teen Book Awards (Nominee, Nonfiction for Grades 6-12) ―New Jersey Library Association, 2001

Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards (Nominee, Grades 6-8) ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2003-2004

Read Less

You May Also Like

Meet the Author

Eleanor Ramrath Garner attended Boston University, and pursued a career as a permissions editor for textbook publishers for many years. In addition to being a published non-fiction writer, Garner is an exhibited artist. She lives in California.