YA Book Review: The Extra by Kathryn Lasky
An engaging main character combined with detailed research and an incredible premise make this book by seasoned author Kathryn Lasky a stirring read. The book is about a teenaged girl named Lilo, whose family is taken prisoner by the Nazis along with other Sinti people in her neighborhood. Lilo is immediately separated from her beloved father, but she and her mother are chosen to be extras in a film by one of Hitler’s favorite filmmakers, Leni Riefenstahl. While on set, they are spared the full horrors of the concentration camps, but are still treated as prisoners while the glamorous (and amorous…) lives of the actors go on around them.
Based loosely on true events, this is not an easy read by any means (I was in tears at one point!) but it isn’t completely without hope. When I was finished with the book, I definitely wanted to learn more about Leni Riefenstahl and this strange history of prisoners being used as extras in film. So terrible and so fascinating.
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from the publisher through NetGalley