If you've already done the math, then you'd know I was seven years old when Annika was born. It was kind of an unexpected bonusno longer being the youngest. I could hardly wait for her to arrive. I learned so much about the infliction of pain from my older brother, I was eager to impart my wisdom to the younger generation.
I spent my first seven years as an unwitting scientific experiment. Scientific, however, suggests it was all documented for a greater good. But nothing was written down. There were no lab notes. No charts. No graphs. Only a constant stream of misery. Dad always said our family was part Austrian, but all you had to do was see my brother, Ben, in action to realize our German roots ran deep. I could have written a book like Anne Frank, detailing the occupation, but Ben would have found it and rubbed every word in my face like broken glass.
Excerpted from Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause Copyright © 2005 by Brian Strause. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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