As promised, I am sharing my bibliography…

To facilitate my selection, I used the Books and Authors database available via the Michigan eLibrary. The majority of the books were inter-library loaned from libraries and universities throughout Michigan, several items were available at the 5 libraries in which I hold cards, and the remaining materials were purchased for my private collection.

Note: Clicking on the book covers will take you to the relevant WorldCat entry.

Adler, D.A. (1997). Hiding from the Nazis. New York, NY: Holiday House.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Karen Ritz
ISBN: 9780823412884; OCLC: 35566065

Overview: This work of non-fiction not only gives the reader a history lesson about World War II and the Holocaust, but also makes it a personal experience. Adler tells the story about a young girl who placed into hiding with several families. By the end of the story, the war ends and the girl is to be reunited with her parents. Like many young children who were cared for by foster families, Lore has grown attached and the memory of her biological parents has faded with time. At the story’s close, the reunited family is living in the United States and Lore is learning to trust her parents. Of note, Holiday House recommended this book for children ages 7 and up or grade level 2 and up. A review by School Library Journal recommended this piece for grade levels 2 – 4.

Illustration notes: On page 21, Ritz depicts a scene in which after receiving a warning of incoming Nazi soldiers, a young Lore is being whisked away by Cornelia via bicycle. In the background, the reader can see a rural scene that includes a farmhouse and a windmill.

Opinion: While this work is, indeed, a work of non-fiction, it reads much like any children’s picture book, but with a touch more of history interwoven into the story. In comparison, I did not enjoy this book as much as some of the other pieces selected for this project; however, I feel that Adler’s work would be perfect for introducing the topic of World War II and the Holocaust to young children.

Adler, D.A. (1995). One yellow daffodil: A Hanukkah story. San Diego, CA: Gulliver.

Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Lloyd Bloom
ISBN: 9780152005375; OCLC: 31241447

Overview: Morris Kaplan, a flower shop owner, goes about his day-to-day life until one holiday season changes things up a bit for him. Kaplan gets invited to light Hanukkah candles with a local family who are regular customers of the flower shop. During his visit, Kaplan mentions that he used to celebrate Hanukkah every year when he was still living in Poland. As the story progresses, you learn that he was a prisoner at Auschwitz and saw a single daffodil growing in the middle of nowhere. Kaplan said to himself, “If that daffodil can survive here, maybe I can, too.” Adler writes, “Morris knows that luck, more than anything saved him. But he feels the flower saved him, too.” Of note, a review by Booklist recommended the book for children ages 5 – 8 while the publisher cites ages 6 and up.

Illustration notes: On page 26, a full-page illustration features Morris Kaplan sitting on a rock within the yard at Auschwitz. His hand is holding his chin while he looks to be studying a single, small daffodil poking out of the ground. This illustration powerfully moves the story by giving the reader an actual image of what his surroundings looked like.

Opinion: This item came in late via interlibrary loan and I almost did not include it for this project as I had already finished part I. I must admit that I was completely moved by this story with tears running down my cheeks. I highly recommend this book.

Bunting, E. (2002). One candle. New York, NY: Joanna Cotler Books.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrator: K. Wendy Popp
ISBN: 9780060281168; OCLC: 47717793

Overview: This story takes place in modern times during a family’s Hanukah celebration. Every year the grandmother and her sister, Rose, are asked by the grandchildren to retell a story about their time at Buchenwald, a concentration camp during World War II. The two sisters worked in a kitchen preparing food for German officers. With the advent of Hanukah, the grandmother decides to steal a potato in order to make a candle to mark the Festival of Lights. Each year while telling her story, the grandmother partakes in a similar activity by carving out a potato and lighting it as a candle.

Illustration notes: Popp’s illustrations look almost like antique photographs with rich colors full of emotion and expression. On page 9 of the story, a full-page illustration depicts the two sisters sharing a tender moment while the potato sits on the table before them.

Opinion: I was moved by this story. Bunting does a great job with weaving a piece of piece of historical fiction that could be supplemental to a classroom discussion on World War II and the Holocaust.

Deedy, C.A. (2000). The yellow star: The legend of King Christian X of Denmark. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Henri Sørensen
ISBN: 9781561452088; OCLC: 43561646

Overview: This story tells the legend of King Christian X standing up to the Nazis when they occupied Denmark. Unlike most occupied countries, this country’s leader refused to fly the Nazi flag atop his palace and had it removed much to the regime’s chagrin. When the regime demanded that Danish Jews wear yellow stars on their clothing, the King countered by wearing it himself and his people followed.

Illustration notes: On pages 18 – 19, Sørensen depicts a pensive King Christian with his hand on his chin. He doesn’t stop there. Above and beside the King, the reader gets a visual of his thoughts: a Danish military being defeated — an airplane with a billow of smoke, a severely damaged naval ship, and a rubble-strewn city with a tank crawling through the streets. The illustrations are rich and full of warm colors. Sørensen’s style reminds me a touch of Claude Monet’s work.

Opinion: I enjoyed the spirit of this book — standing up against evil. At the end of the book, there is a two-page spread titled “Author’s Note” which explains that the story is merely a legend or tale; however, the author offers several facts about Danes during the War. Based on the illustrations and the story itself, I can see this book appealing to readers and teachers alike.

Drucker, M., Halperin, M. (1993). Jacob’s rescue: A Holocaust story. New York, NY: Bantam.
Category: Chapter Book
This book does not contain illustrations
ISBN: 9780553089769; OCLC: 26857810

Overview: Like many other Holocaust stories, this story is set in Poland; however, it is based on a true story (Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis and Dr. Samuel Oliner). The story begins in present day when a Jewish family is gathered for a Passover Seder and two non-Jewish members are present, the Roslan family. The children are curious about their connection to the family. Inquiring about the strangers’ presence, a story of survival is recounted — the Roslan family hid young Jacob from the Nazis during World War II.

Opinion: According to the publisher, the age range for this book is 9 and up. Following the publisher’s recommendation, this book would be appropriate for students in the third grade. I found myself not able to put this book down as I wanted to know Jacob’s story. This book will be recommended to other readers interested in the topic.

Feder, P.K. (1995). The feather-bed journey. Morton Grove, IL: A. Whitman.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Stacey Schuett
ISBN: 9780807523308; OCLC: 0807523305

Overview: Feder weaves a tale of a grandmother’s story of survival as a child in Poland during World War II. When leaving their home for the Jewish ghetto, the family’s feather bed is brought with them and serves to keep six children warm during the harsh winter. Through a hole in the wall of the ghetto, she is able to escape and live in the care of a farming family in rural Poland and then in a Jewish colony in the woods. After immigrating to America after the war ends, a large package from Poland is received via mail with a portion of the original feather-bed inside — turned into a pillow due to an unfortunate fire.

Illustration notes: Throughout the book, Schuett’s colorful illustrations take up approximately the top 2/3 of each page. On page 19, the illustration depicts the grandmother (as a child) in a secret compartment between the basement and the main floor of the house. Above her, the reader sees the boots of two soldiers and a female character embracing a young child. The grandmother is looking towards the ceiling in her compartment and has an anxious look on her face.

Opinion: I must admit that I was quite annoyed by the children in this book. Between arguing and subsequently destroying a pillow and then the incessant interruption of their grandmother, I was disappointed by the way Feder chose to portray the children in this story. In reflection, it does not seem that the children are even slightly remorseful at destroying a family heirloom. Beyond the children’s reproachable behavior, the story was quite enjoyable.

Hesse, K. (2004). The cats in Krasinski Square. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrator: Wendy Watson
ISBN: 9780439435406; OCLC: 54501550

Overview: This story takes place in Warsaw, Poland during World War II. The story focuses on two girls who escaped from the Jewish ghetto and their plans to smuggle food to their family and friends. Hearing that their plan has been thwarted, they creatively devise a back-up and create a disruption at the train station using the stray cats found in Krasinski Square. The Nazi’s dogs go crazy and the girls are able to collect the food from fellow supporters. At the end of the story, the food is delivered to the wall separating the ghetto from the mainstream city with the last page describing the disturbing dissonance between the two worlds: “And the music from the merry-go-round floats in the air, rising, tinsel-bright, above Krasinski Square.”

Illustration notes: Overall, the illustrations in this piece are relatively bland and give off a washed-out feeling. Pages 22 and 23 host a two-page spread which depicts the cats of Krasinski Square being released in the train station with the soldiers’ dogs charging. Chaos and confusion in the scene is quite apparent and the reader can see the smugglers leaving the scene with their parcels of food.

Opinion: Up until the story’s climax, I found the story to flat and relatively uninteresting. Perhaps, if the illustrations were more colorful the story might be a bit more engaging. A child might not understand the story because not much background or explanation is given as to what a ghetto is and what is happening in Poland.

Hoestlandt, J. (1995). Star of fear, star of hope. New York, NY: Walker.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Johanna Kang
ISBN: 9780802783745; OCLC: 31207413

Overview: This book is set in Paris, France during the Nazi occupation in World War II. The story tells the tale of two girls, Helen and Lydia, who are best friends and get separated by the infamous regime. Lydia is staying at Helen’s house for her 9th birthday and due to a serious of mysterious events asks to go home shortly after midnight. Helen’s father takes Lydia home and she is never seen again as the dates in the story coincide with the infamous Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup. At the story’s close, Helen as a grown woman reflects back on situation and hopes that Lydia is out there somewhere. Star of Hope, Star of Fear won several awards including ALA Notable in 1995, Batchelder Award in 1996, IRA-CBC Teachers Choice Award in 1995, Sydney Taylor Book Award in 1996, and the Graphics Prize at the 1994 Bologna Book Fair.

Illustration notes: The two-page spread illustration on pages 21 and 22 depicts a very long line of Jews carrying what meager personal belongings they were allowed to possess. The characters in the far-right to the middle of the illustration are shown in detail; however, as the line continues to the left of the page, the detail becomes less apparent which gives the reader a sense of perspective.

Opinion: While I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, the story reeks of nostalgia and sentimentalism which typically do not appeal to young children. Based on that statement, I was surprised to see that the book won as many awards as it did. Setting aside the nostalgia, I found the readability of the text to be quite personable and engaging in a conversational tone which is likely to draw in any reader. Also worth noting, the story was translated from French by Mark Polizzotti.

Johnston, T. (2004). The harmonica. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Ron Mazellan
ISBN: 9781570915475; OCLC: 51899117

Overview: In Poland during World War II, a Jewish family immerses themselves in music to forget the events surrounding them. A father gives his son a harmonica shortly before they are separated. The son is sent to a concentration camp where he continues to play the harmonica for comfort. A German officer hears of his talent and summons him to play each night and giving him extra bread in return. The boy feels conflicted about playing the harmonica and is told by a voice in the night that it is giving others comfort, too. Of note, the publisher recommends this book to children age and 8 and a review by School Library Journal recommends the book for children in grades 3 – 6.

Illustration notes: On pages 11 – 12, a two-page spread depicts the boy playing his harmonica while his mother and father dance to the music. The boy’s eyes are closed showing his involvement and concentration in creating the music. By his parents’ expressions, they are experiencing much pleasure and joy in the music.

Opinion: I loved this book and appreciated the literary exploration of conflicted emotions.

Lakin, P. (1994). Don’t forget. New York, NY: Tambourine Books.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Ted Rand
ISBN: 9780688120764; OCLC: 28294704

Overview: Sarah wants to surprise her mother with a homemade cake as a birthday present. She finds a recipe, makes a list of ingredients, and walks into town for her shopping. Each store that she visits offers a piece of advice and reminds her, “Don’t forget.” At last, she ends up at the Singers who have numbers tattooed on their forearms. Sarah has always been uncomfortable around them because of their “secret.” The Singers not only help Sarah with her ingredients and baking the cake, but take time to explain their so-called secret which really isn’t. Their message ties in with the title of the book, “The numbers should never be a secret, my little Sarahla. If no one knows about bad things, they can happen all over again. Don’t forget.” Of note, a review by School Library Journal recommends this book for children in grades 1st – 3rd.

Illustration notes: The illustration on pages 17 – 18, which supports the quote above, depicts Mrs. Singer showing and explaining to Sarah about her tattoo. Sarah’s expression shows curiosity.

Opinion: I found this story to be both heartwarming and educational. Differing from many books about the Holocaust, the story focuses on postwar life in a predominately Jewish neighborhood.

McDonough, Y.Z. (1997). Anne Frank. New York, NY: H. Holt.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Malcah Zeldis
ISBN: 9780805049244; OCLC: 36037799

Overview: McDonough appropriately tells the story of Anne Frank for young readers. The book covers her move to Amsterdam from Germany as well as life in the secret annex. Rich and vivid illustrations help move the story yet are simple enough for young readers to grasp and understand. The book closes with Otto, her father, publishing the diary after her untimely death in a concentration camp. Of note, a review by School Library Journal recommends this book for children in grades 3 – 5 while the publisher cites ages 7 and up.

Illustration notes: Folk artist Malcah Zeldis created a full-page illustration on page 8 that depicts a Nazi tank and soldiers marching into what is likely Amsterdam, Netherlands. Airplanes fly overhead and several houses look to be on fire within the story’s background. The childlike illustrations make the book very visually appealing for young readers.

Opinion: I enjoyed this book and the gentle way that McDonough chose to introduce Anne Frank and tragic story to children. I also fell in love with the illustrations and will now seek out more work by Malcah Zeldis.

McDonough, Y.Z. (2005). The doll with the yellow star. New York, NY: H. Holt.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root
ISBN: 9780805063370; OCLC: 50292827

Overview: McDonough’s story follows a young French girl by the name of Claudine who is sent to the United States to live with her aunt and uncle after France becomes occupied by the Nazis. The title of the story is derived from Claudine’s doll, Violette, who also has a yellow Star of David stitched onto her clothing. As the story progresses, Claudine becomes separated from Violette when the ship transporting them to the United States catches fire. At the end of the story, after being reunited with her father, the girl discovers her doll in a wooden chest purchased at an auction sale.

Illustration notes: At the top of each chapter, a small full-colored illustration is featured with a couple of full and partial page images also included in each chapter. On page 62, Root shares an illustration of Claudine being reunited with her Papa in America. In reading the story’s text, it is explained to the reader that Papa has aged during their separation and the illustration supports the storyline. The father figure looks to be more grandfather-like.

Opinion: According to reviews by School Library Journal and Booklist, the cited age range for this book is grades 3 – 5. Because of the beautiful illustrations, relatively large font size, and overall readability, I found this book suitable for students in the late second grade (advanced reader) and certainly appropriate for most readers in the third grade. While the main character was French, I was somewhat reminded of the American Girl-themed books which I always enjoyed. I would recommend this book to others.

Nerlove, M. (1996). Flowers on the wall. New York, NY: M.K. McElderry.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by the author, Miriam Nerlove
ISBN: 9780689506147; OCLC: 31131868

Overview: Nerlove tells the story about a Jewish family residing in Warsaw, Poland during World War II. The story focuses on the day-to-day survival of the family with the main character being a young girl named Rachel. To pass the time and brighten their dark apartment, Rachel paints brightly colored flowers on the walls. At the end of the book, the story abruptly ends when the family is taken to a Warsaw ghetto. The story closes with the following, “Rachel’s dreams, along with those of the thousands of other Warsaw Jews, faded like the flowers on her apartment walls. And then they were gone forever.” Of note, a review by School Library Journal recommends this book for children in grades 1st – 4th.

Illustration notes: On page 17, Nerlove depicts a scene in which Rachel and her father are painting flowers on the walls of their apartment. Rachel looks to be enjoying herself while her father looks peaceful and reflective.

Opinion: While I appreciated the author’s note at the end of the book, which gave a brief history lesson, I must admit that I did not enjoy this book. I understand that the Holocaust was a very dark time; however, the way in which the story closed, I do not feel as though it is appropriate for the age group unless time is devoted to prepare a lesson plan.

Rubin, S.G., Weissberger, E. (2006). The cat with the yellow star: Coming of age in Terezin. New York, NY: Holiday House.

Category: Chapter Book
This work contains photographs and artwork which are cited at the beginning of the book
ISBN: 9780823418312; OCLC: 56096669

Overview: Rubin and Weissberger developed a biographical piece that tells the story of the children being held prisoner in Terezin, a former military fortress in Czechoslovakia. Formatted as both a chapter and picture book (with real photographs), this book describes day-to-day life and the many coping strategies exhibited by the children. Many people living in Terezin were “transported East” to death camps. The book ends with several of the female roommates being reunited as adults. Of note, the publisher recommended this book for children ages 8 and up thus making it appropriate for those in the third grade.

Illustration notes: On page 23, a large black and white photograph which depicts a group of children who performed the opera Brundibár is displayed. In reading the book’s explanation of the photograph, it is a truly amazing image.

Opinion: When I first selected this book, I imagined it to be an illustrated picture book that told the coming of age tale; however, when I cracked it open, I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful work of non-fiction complete with real photographs. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it would be very appropriate to use when introducing the Holocaust to young readers.

Russo, M. (2011). I will come back for you: A family in hiding during World War II. New York, NY: Schwartz & Wade.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Marisabina Russo
ISBN: 9780375966958; OCLC: 694616188

Overview: In opening the book, the end papers are decorated with old family photographs. Before the story begins, a glossary of terms is offered for the reader. Russo’s book tells the story of a young girl asking her Nonna about the charms on her bracelet. The grandmother tells the story behind each charm which adds up to her story of survival during World War II. At the end of the book, an afterword provides the reader with a brief history lesson. According to the publisher, the age level for this book is 5 and up with the reading level cited at kindergarten and up.

Illustration notes: Page 13 is devoted to an emotionally-filled illustration that depicts Nonna as a child looking into an open window where both of her parents are reacting to distressing news. In her haste, the little girl spilled the bucket of chicken feed. The characters’ facial expressions look pained and solemn.

Opinion: This is an absolutely beautiful historical story that is set in Italy. The vivid illustrations both added to and supported the story. I appreciated the fact that Russo chose to use a family heirloom to tell a story.

Sim, D.M. (1997). In my pocket. San Diego: CA: Harcourt Brace.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Gerald Fitzgerald
ISBN: 9780152013578; OCLC: 33968843

Overview: Sim shares an autobiographical story about young children being evacuated from Nazi-occupied countries via the Kindertransports. Dorrith, the author and main character, describes the travel and missing her parents. Ultimately, she ends up in Scotland and enjoys living a relatively normal life in which she can play outdoors with friends. Unlike many similar stories, this piece ends before she is reunited with her family making the book’s focus on the Kindertransport. Because of the very short sentences and font size, I could see this book being appropriate for children in the 2nd – 3rd grades. Of note, a review by School Library Journal recommended this book for 3rd – 4th grades.

Illustration notes: Pages 7 and 8 feature a very vivid two-page spread with the story’s text embedded in the upper left-hand corner. Fitzgerald depicts four children sitting outside on a beautiful sunny day socializing and eating lunch on a yellow blanket. Sim writes, “At last, the time stopped. A big boy said we were in Holland. We sat in a green field and ate cheese sandwiches. We sang songs to the Dutch people who helped us. One song was about a mermaid. They gave us milk and chocolate. Soon we were on our way again.” The illustration adds to the story by giving the reader a rich visual image of the scene.

Opinion: While I loved this book, it lacked the fulfilling family reunions that other books about the Holocaust often share. On the other hand, it is realistic because there wasn’t always the family reunion. Because of the beautiful illustrations by Fitzgerald, I could easily see children enjoying this book.

Sonderling, E. (1997). A knock at the door. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Wendy Wassink Ackison
ISBN: 9780817244347; OCLC: 35673527

Overview: Sonderling tells the story of a young girl who stumbles upon an isolated German farm during World War II. The Schmidt family takes her in without question and the mysterious girl works on the family farm. Several months later, a German soldier knocks on the door looking for a Jewish girl who escaped from the camp. At that moment, Mrs. Schmidt mentally makes the connection and denies housing a Jewish girl. While cleaning the horse stalls, thankfully the girl is aware of what is happening and takes refuge under a pile of hay. After the soldier leaves empty-handed, the girl identifies herself and the Schmidt family pledges to keep her safe. The story ends with the girl reconnecting with her brother after the war is over.

Illustration notes: On pages 12-13, a two-page spread depicts the Schmidt’s kitchen with Mrs. Schmidt looking at the mysterious girl. In this image, the girl looks tired and haggard with a faraway look on her face. The text reads, “She helped Mrs. Schmidt with the cooking and sewing. Mrs. Schmidt wondered about the girl. Someone had taught her how to sew and clean, but the girl never spoke about herself. This girl always seemed sad, and she never smiled.”

Opinion: Because this book was created via the Publish-a-Book Contest in 1996, I had trouble finding it as well as locating reviews on its content. Worth noting, the author was born in 1985 and his grandmother is a survivor of the Holocaust. Sonderling gleaned stories from his grandmother which inspired him to create this story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found the illustrations to be gorgeous. In comparing this book to others, I think it would be appropriate for 2nd grade and up.

Thor, A. (2009). A faraway island. New York, NY: Delacorte Books.
Category: Chapter Book
This book does not contain any illustrations
ISBN: 9780385736176; OCLC: 310399735

Overview: Translated from Swedish by Linda Schenck. Thor tells the story of two sisters who left their family behind in Vienna and took refuge on a rural Swedish island with two foster families. Initially Nellie and Stephie struggle to adapt to their new home; however, by the end of the book both sisters become part of the island community. The story explores the concept of how it feels to be an outsider.

Opinion: When selecting this book, it should be noted that the publisher deemed the age group to be 8 and up and a review by School Library Journal cited the age range of grades 5 – 8. I could see many younger students struggling with this book; however, more mature and advanced readers would likely thoroughly enjoy it. I enjoyed the perspectives offered by this story and would like to look into some of Thor’s other work. Of note, this book won the Batchelder Award in 2010 and the list Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People in 2010.

Vander Zee, R., Sneider, M. (2007). Eli remembers. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Category: Picture Book
Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
ISBN: 9780802853097; OCLC: 71812646

Overview: Based on actual events, this piece focuses on the history of a Lithuanian-American Jewish family. The story is told by Eli, a young boy, who each year observes his family’s sadness during Rosh Hashanah without understanding why. Upon taking a family trip to Lithuania and visiting the Ponar Forest, Eli learns that seven of his family members were killed by Nazis and buried in a mass grave — hence the lighting of seven candles and his family’s sadness. Of note, the publisher recommends this book to children ages 6 and up.

Illustration notes: On the final page of the story, Farnsworth created an image that shows the grandfather and Eli facing each other and holding hands. Eli is looking up into his grandfather’s eyes. The illustration fully supports and extends the text, “I looked up at my grandpa. Tears were rolling down his face. He held out his arms to me. I climbed up out of the put and went to him. ‘It’s okay, Grandpa,’ I said. ‘It won’t be a secret anymore. I’ll always remember.'”

Opinion: This beautiful book shares the story of a family’s history, but rather hesitantly — “Some things are too difficult to talk about.” I thoroughly enjoyed it and will recommend it to others.

Vos, I. (2000). The key is lost. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Category: Chapter Book
This book does not contain illustrations
ISBN: 9780439291378; OCLC: 42392169

Overview: This story is translated from Dutch by Terese Edelstein. Vos weaves a cat and mouse story of a Jewish Dutch family, the Zilverstijns, in hiding from the Nazi regime. Due to a number of unfortunate discoveries, the family goes from one safe house to the next and shares their triumphs and tragedies. The story ends with the defeat of the infamous Third Reich.

Opinion: It should be noted that the publisher deemed the age group to be 8 and up and a review by School Library Journal cited the age range of grades 4 – 7. Unlike A Faraway Island, this book’s readability is much more appropriate for younger readers as the font size is larger and the book’s overall length is considerable shorter. As far as my personal opinion goes, I couldn’t put this book down and recommend it those interested in this theme or topic.

Williams, L.E. (1996). Behind the bedroom wall. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions.
Category: Chapter Book
Illustrated by A. Nancy Goldstein.
ISBN: 9781571316585; OCLC: 33948236
(Note: the cover image reflects the Scholastic edition)

Overview: Unique in perspective, this story follows a German girl who is a member of the Jungmädel, Hitler Youth for young girls. At the beginning of the story, she idolizes Hitler and the Third Reich. As the story progresses, she learns that her parents are harboring a Jewish mother and daughter within their home and finds herself pulling away from the Jungmädel which ultimately puts everyone in danger.

Illustration notes: Black and white illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book. On the bottom of page 130, Goldstein depicts Korinna and her mother at the kitchen table. At this point in the story, she learns of Rachel’s illness. In contrast to Korinna’s cockiness at the beginning of the story, this illustration shows her “stunned silence” by way of her facial expression.

Opinion: When selecting this book, it should be noted that the publisher deemed the age group to be 8 and up and a review by School Library Journal cited the age range of grades 5 – 8. When I first started reading this book, I was very skeptical because of the perspective offered by Korinna. In fact, I was disheartened by her callousness and cruelty. Without repeating myself, I was pleased to see her personal growth and the discovery of compassion for others.

Other books considered while working on this project:

Bunting, E. (1989). Terrible things: An allegory of the Holocaust. Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society. ISBN: 9780827603257; OCLC: 19517516

Fleming, C. (2003). Boxes for Katje. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
ISBN: 9780374309220; OCLC: 48966566

Kacer, K. (2001). Clara’s war. Toronto, Ontario: Second Story Press. ISBN: 9781896764429; OCLC: 46624591

Kacer, K. (1999). The secret of Gabi’s dresser. Toronto, Ontario: Second Story Press.
ISBN: 9781896764153; OCLC: 45400651

Krinitz, E.N., Steinhardt, B. (2005). Memories of survival. New York, NY: Hyperion.
ISBN: 9780786851263; OCLC: 62934340

Polacco, P. (2002). Christmas tapestry. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
ISBN: 9780399239557; OCLC: 48761333

Propp, V. (1999). When the soldiers were gone. New York, NY: Putnam.
ISBN: 9780399233258; OCLC: 38096948

Wood, J. (2004). Coming on home soon. New York, NY: Putnam.
ISBN: 9780399237485; OCLC: 53356086