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Turned Away: The World War II Diary of Devorah Bernstein is the thirteenth book in Dear Canada by Scholastic Canada. It was written by Carol Matas. The book is her second book for the series after Footsteps in the Snow. It was published in September 2005 and was followed by The Death of My Country by Maxine Trottier.


"For my new grandson, Zevi Joseph Nathanson. With love from your Safta."

Book description[]

"January 9, 1941
A letter arrived from Sarah, again tucked in with mail from Uncle Nathaniel.
Chère Devorah, Our worst fears came to pass. Three huge bangs on the door. Maman ran to my room and told me to keep the door closed and not to come out. Within minutes she came back and sank down on my bed weeping. "They've taken him," she said. "To Drancy. Arrested." I can barely sleep anymore. I keep hearing that pounding on the door. Sometimes I feel the sound will explode in my brain. Chère Devorah, what is wrong with the world? I don't understand any of this. Do you? Your loving cousin, Sarah.
The letter from Uncle Nathaniel told of being arrested, but little else, except another question about how the visas are going. I could hear Mommy crying from her bedroom.

"Le 9 janvier 1941
Une lettre de Sarah est arrivée, glissée dans l'enveloppe avec celle d'oncle Nathaniel.
Chère Déborah, Ce que nous craignions le plus au monde a fini par arriver. Trois grands coups frappés à notre porte. Maman est montée dans ma chambre à toute vitesse et m'a dit de fermer la porte et de ne pas sortir. Quelques minutes plus tard, elle est revenue et s'est effondrée sur mon lit, en larmes. « Ils l'ont emmené », a-t-elle dit. « À Drancy. Arrêté. » Je ne dors presque plus. Je n'arrête pas d'entendre ce bruit dans ma tête. Trois grands coups sur la porte. Parfois, rai l'impression que ma tête va finir par éclater, à force de les entendre. Chère Déborah, qu'est-ce qui ne va pas en ce monde? Je ne comprends rien à tout ça. Et toi? Ta cousine qui t'adore, Sarah
Dans sa lettre, oncle Nathaniel parle de son arrestation, mais à part une question à propos des démarches pour les visas, il ne dit pas grand-chose d'autre. Je peux entendre maman pleurer dans sa chambre.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Turned Away characters


Main article: Carol Matas




"Dr. Irving Abella, co-author of None Is Too Many, shared his expertise on the Holocaust and the Jewish refugee situation during World War II. Terry Copp, author of No Price Too High, lent us his keen military eye and generously assisted with the Historical Note. Barbara Hehner carefully checked the manuscript and particularly assisted regarding World War II pilots. Michael Nathanson and Rebecca Brask not only produced the most beautiful grandchild in the world, but also spent hours in front of microfiches, copying a year's worth of The Winnipeg Tribune, and helping with the research. Per Brask listened to the manuscript and gave me invaluable encouragement. And finally I cannot even describe everything my editor Sandy Bogart Johnston accomplished–three weeks working with me to track down whether mail could go back and forth between Paris and Winnipeg, helping to choose and acquire pictures and oh yes–editing the book. My heartfelt thanks to all of the above.
I would also like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts of the grant which allowed me to take the necessary time to fully research this book.


  • The portrait on the cover is a photograph from the Canadian Jewish Congress Archives, Montreal. The background is a detail from a c. 1941-1942 photograph depicting a German SS soldier supervising the deportation of Jews in Krakow, Poland.[9][10]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]