Libby Mittendorf has had to postpone her dreams for university. It’s World war II, and her parents need her help in their Berlin bakery. As the war progresses, keeping the business afloat and the family safe is getting more difficult. Bakery supplies are hard to find, a local Nazi police officer likes to visit, Allied bombing raids are becoming more common, and then there’s Marek.
To help meet expenses, Liddy’s father takes a job as a prison guard in Berlin. To help with the baking, he hires the teenaged Marek, who’s had training at a monastery in Poland. The boy also speaks good German. He has fake identity papers; he fled Warsaw after his parents were arrested and taken away. Marek’s mother is Jewish, which makes Marek’s existence extremely problematic in Nazi Berlin. The boy is also helping print materials for the German resistance to Hitler.
Liddy’s father is helping a prisoner smuggle letters to his fiancée and family. He’s also reading the letters himself – and using them to teach his family. The prisoner is a pastor named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The priest who managed the monastery where Marek worked is Father Maximilian Kolbe, famous for sacrificing himself in a concentration camp to save another prisoner. And Marek’s mother will find herself at the notorious Ravensbruck Camp for women, where she meets Betsy and Corrie ten Boom.
The Baker’s Daughter by D.P. Cornelius, aimed at the teen /young adult audience, is the story of a Christian family’s resistance to Nazi tyranny in spite of how increasingly precarious their lives become. Danger exists on the streets and in their shop, and the possibility of being killed in a bombing raid becomes more and more real. Will Marek be discovered? Will Liddy’s father be found smuggling letters? Will they survive the next air raid?
In addition to The Baker’s Daughter, Cornelius is the author of the novels Freedom’s Call, Da Vinci’s Disciples, and Good News – I Failed. He received the Illumination Silver Award for Y.A. Fiction for The Baker's Daughter and 2017 Moonbeam Children's Silver Award for Y.A. Fiction-Religion for Da Vinci's Disciples. A graduate of Cornell University, he spent his professional career working for Target, Amex, and #M, in addition to his father’s business. He lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, area.
The Baker’s Daughter shows that heroism isn’t only found on the battlefield but also in the day-to-day activities of a family determined to help others.