The Extra review by bookgirl1289
The Extra
by Kathryn Lasky
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Fiction
Five Star Award

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 12
Reviewer's Location - Middlebury, CT, United States
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Set during World War II, The Extra by award-winning author Kathryn Lasky is a wonderful story centering on a Gypsy girl, Lilo Friwald. Lilo and her family are living in Vienna when Hitler’s soldiers come. They are taken away to a Gypsy work camp along with hundreds of others. Soon Lilo and her mother are separated from Lilo’s father and taken to work as extras for famous filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. But the movie set isn’t the hoped-for oasis; the Gypsy extras are guarded day and night, starved, and, when they are not on set, locked in an old barn. Lilo knows that Riefenstahl’s rank as Hitler’s favorite movie star gives her a lot of power--power that could allow her to send any of her extras to the new torture camps being established in the east. Lilo must help her frail mother and herself to survive the war and somehow find her father. But how can she do it when she’s stuck in Riefenstahl’s fantasy movie set?


I really enjoyed reading The Extra and found it very interesting because very little has been written about how the Gypsies were sent to concentration camps in World War II. The characters were likeable, and you were able to connect with their feelings (if not the situations) and sympathize with them. I first chose this book because it was written by Kathryn Lasky who has written lots of good books, including the best-selling The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series. I also found this new book of hers to be very well written and interesting. There were, however, some rather intense and sad parts; but these are to be expected when talking about the Holocaust. All in all, I thought this was a wonderful book full of bravery and loyalty.

Content Rating:

Content rating - nothing offensive

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Because this book is about Hitler's death camps, there are some intense and very sad parts, but there is nothing graphic or inappropriate.




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