About the Authors

Essie Shor

After a year enslaved in the ghetto of her home town of Novogrudek, where most of her family was killed by the Nazis, teenage Essie Shor daringly escaped. She spent the next two years in the forest encampment led by her cousins, the Bielski Brothers, and became a partisan, a guerrilla fighter attacking the Nazi war machine. Following the war, she married Jerry Shor after a one-month courtship, and moved with her husband and two-year-old daughter to New York, where she had a second daughter. Essie worked for a major book manufacturer, and eventually became a public school teacher, retiring at age 80. She lives in New York City.

Andrea Zakin

Andrea Zakin, a professor at Lehman College, taught an early childhood education class that Essie attended at Lehman College in the Bronx. . This book came out of an art project Essie did for Andrea’s class, representing her life in the forest bunker. Andrea suggested that Essie write this story for young adult readers because it would represent a unique perspective on this aspect of the war from an adolescent’s point of view. And so began the collaboration‚at first between teacher and student, and then between co-authors and friends. Andrea is also a widely known painter, who uses her art to comment on political and social issues. She lives with her husband and teenage daughter in New York.


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