Thursday, September 29, 2022

Review The Vanishing Interview with author David Michael Slater

Today I'm featuring David Michael Slate's just released WWII novel, The Vanishing as an added benefit I had the pleasure of chatting with David about the novel. So sit back and read all about this unique read.

Publisher: Library Tales Publishing 
Release Date: 09-29-2022
Length: 242pp
Source: Author for review
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound
           Free on Kindle Unlimited



To save her best friend from the horrors of Nazi Germany, an invisible girl must embark on an utterly unforgettable journey of redemption and revenge. The Vanishing is fierce and loving, devastating and compelling, a breathtaking blend of history, fiction, and magical realism.

My Review:

The Vanishing
David Michael Slate

David Michael Slater’s latest work of fiction is brutal and brilliant bringing back the horrors of Jews living during the reign of Hitler in Nazi Germany. Readers see the atrocities through the eyes of Sophie, an invisible pre-teen girl who uses her gift to help in particular her little friend Giddy and also her fellow Jews as they are subjected to one unspeakable inhuman act after another. The author doesn’t pull punches with the savagery but he also gives his brave characters unrelenting faith that the tides will change. Sophie is the definite star of the story, determined, strong, wise beyond her years yet the author doesn’t mind painting her with normal flaws of a pre-teen only child for the audience to fully witness her transformation from victim to hero of the tale. There are some other standout characters, Giddy for one is so young to have experienced such barbarity but he’s also an old soul and an inspiration to others. There are many, many villains in this story each one more savage then the next and will all leave the reader with a nasty taste. WWII stories are so important and should never be forgotten especially now when so few who lived through these times are with us. They should never be forgotten also because of the fragility of life and freedoms and the ugly truth that this kind of barbaric ethnic cleansing still happens today in parts of the world. If you love WWII stories and don’t mind ones that are dark you will love this book. Fans of Pam Jenoff, Kristin Hannah or Kristin Harmel and other WWII authors will find this unputdownable.

Since 1938 Sophie Siegel’s papa has moved their family of three from German town to German town trying to outrun the growing anti-Semitism since Adolph Hitler came into power finally settling in Ortschaft in 1940 where it was said that the Jewish population lived in relative peace. That all changed in late 1941 when the Nazis made new rules for Jews and bit by bit started taking away rights and privileges. Since the Jewish kids couldn’t go to school Sophie spent most of her time with her young neighbor Giddy playing, reading and just making the most of a terrible situation. Then in late 1942 when Sophie was 12 she witnessed the atrocity of the Nazi monsters when her parents were killed by Nazis officers while she hid in the closet. Sophie was ready for her fate too but when the closet door opened the Nazi soldier couldn’t see her and the next day when all Jews were evacuated she learned that she had turned invisible. So she made a vow that since she had this new gift wherever it came from she would watch over her Jewish community and especially Giddy and his family helping them in any way they needed. She had no idea what lay ahead.



“I've long wondered whether any writer would have the courage to truly portray the sodden, mindless, pointless brutality of the Holocaust as it was. In The Vanishing, David Michael Slater has done just that, and I haven't been so moved by a book in a long time.” ~ Eric A. Kimmel, 5-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Recipient of the Sydney Taylor Award for Lifetime Achievement.

"A remarkable book." ~ Steve Stern, Author of The Frozen Rabbi and Winner of the National Jewish Book Award

"It has often been said that we need creative ways to illuminate the horrors of the Holocaust for each new generation. David Slater’s novel, The Vanishing, has accomplished this remarkable feat. An important and fascinating read." ~
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

"A tragic, yet beautiful story that deserves a place on the shelves among some of the greatest literature penned on the Holocaust." ~ Mark A. Cooper, author of the Edelweiss Pirates series

"A vivid journey through every emotion in the human experience." ~ Michael P. Spradlin, New York Times Best Selling author of The Enemy Above and Into the Killing Seas

"Took my breath away and held it until the very last page." ~ Felice Cohen, author of What Papa Told Me

"A moving, compelling, and highly dramatic novel." ~ Richard Zimler, author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon and The Gospel According to Lazarus

"A page-turner... reminiscent of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief." ~ Julia Moberg, author of Presidential Pets, Animal Heroes, and Historical Animals.

My Interview with David Michael Slater:

David hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy. I really enjoyed your new book The Vanishing.
Tell my readers a little about it.
Thank you so much. I think this part of the promotional blurb describes it well:
To save her best friend from the horrors of Nazi Germany, an invisible girl must embark on an utterly unforgettable journey of redemption and revenge.

Will you tell us where the story idea came from?
The Holocaust plays a role in various ways in a lot of my work, so there’s that. Then there’s the frightening increase in general hatred and bigotry we’ve seen over the past few years. But I must admit that the story was primarily generated by the simple thought that an invisible character living through the Holocaust could make for a compelling story.

Why did you pick Sophie, a 12year old girl to be your protagonist?
One would hope that depictions of Nazi atrocities through the eyes of any character would be moving, but seeing them through the eyes of an innocent and hopeful child, I thought, would create maximum impact and generate the most possible empathy. A child that age also has the greatest capacity for growth and transformation, for better or for worse.

Why did she need to be invisible?
There is some ambiguity about Sophie’s condition, which is intentional, and I’ve read some fascinating analyses from readers already. But, on the most practical level, her invisibility allows Sophie to witness virtually all the myriad horrors of the Holocaust in a way no real person ever could have. I think it, paradoxically, makes her both less and more human.

I noticed on your website you have this listed as YA/Adult
Do you have a certain age group that you’re aiming for?
There was much discussion about this issue. But because the protagonist is a teenager, it’s pretty much locked into being a YA title. That is okay with me (mature YAs), be we are expecting this to be a “crossover” book, meaning that it will appeal just as much to adults. Some adults won’t look twice at a book labelled YA—and it’ll be a shame if some folks miss The Vanishing for that reason.

WWII fiction is my favorite genre, mostly because there are so few that remain alive that lived through it whether as a soldier, civilian or victim of war crimes.
Why do you think it’s important to tell these stories?
In the oft-quoted, oft-ignored words of
words of George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

David I’ve been looking on your website and you’re an author with a wide range of reads from children’s picture books to YA, Adult fiction and non-fiction (In fact I’m seriously thinking about buying Wingnuts but I’m not sure I have ½ a brain) 😉
Do you have a favorite genre to write?
Normally, whatever book I’m working on is, by virtue of having all of my interest at the time, my favorite type of book. But in general, magical realism is my favorite style of writing, regardless of the age range it’s intended for.

Speaking of David the author, would you please share your becoming an author story?
I enjoyed writing and reading as a child, but the idea of becoming an author never occurred to me. Then, in college, I read Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, the brilliant play by Tom Stoppard and suddenly found myself writing a similarly absurdist style play. To my amazement, it wound up getting produced. That still didn’t make me think writing was in my future in any significant way. But then, in grad school, I read some magical realist short stories by Jorge Luis Borges and found myself writing stories like those myself. And then it just kept going, and here I am, twenty plus years later, with nearly thirty books in print!

David thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, good luck with The Vanishing!
My pleasure. Thanks so much for your interest.

Are there any author events/signings planned for The Vanishing?
Not yet, but we hope to have some big news soon from Hollywood!

About the author:
David Michael Slater is an acclaimed author of books for children, teens, and adults. David was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He teaches middle school in Reno, Nevada, where he lives with his wife and son. See for more.


  1. Sounds excellent Debbie, I think I have my fill of WW2 stories such as this but still important to put in front of readers of today. The terrible thing is it is still going on - the atrocities that is.

  2. An invisible witness who can help during a horrific time is an intriguing premise.