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Lizzie makes friends with wild Natalie, when she saves Natalie’s weird little brother, Philip, from drowning. Before long the three children are inseparable, and sensible Lizzie is captivated by Natalie’s anarchic nature and the spooky game she plays – hunting down evil in the form of “Left-Over Nazis” through Philip’s psychic revelations. They spend their days harassing these “LONs”, but the game escalates to tragedy when Natalie becomes jealous of Lizzie and Philip’s bond with a local artist. This is a moving story set in a post-war seaside town, and deals with difficult themes of child abuse, loss and guilt, with the Holocaust casting its long shadow over the actions and motivations of the characters. It is sensitively written and captures the grief and rage felt by survivors of different horrors with insight and compassion. The character of Philip in particular draws the reader in, and as Lizzie starts to question her role in events as she grows older, you can feel a real empathy for the pains of childhood. 13+. Rating: ****

The Bodley Head, 2012, ISBN 9780370332130