Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust

December 13, 2022

Nation­al Book Award win­ner Neal Shus­ter­man and acclaimed illus­tra­tor Andrés Vera Martínez present a graph­ic nov­el explor­ing the Holo­caust through sur­re­al visions and a tex­tured can­vas of hero­ism and hope.

Courage to Dream plunges read­ers into the Holo­caust — one of the great­est atroc­i­ties in human his­to­ry — delv­ing into the core of what it means to face the extinc­tion of every­thing and every­one you hold dear.

This grip­ping, mul­ti­fac­eted tapes­try is woven from Jew­ish folk­lore and cul­tur­al his­to­ry. Five inter­lock­ing nar­ra­tives explore one com­mon sto­ry — the tra­di­tion of resis­tance and uplift. Neal Shus­ter­man and Andrés Vera Martínez are inter­na­tion­al­ly renowned cre­ators who have col­lab­o­rat­ed on a mas­ter­work that encour­ages the com­pas­sion­ate, bold reach­ing for a dream.

Discussion Questions

Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holo­caust occu­pies a haunt­ing lim­i­nal space between mag­i­cal real­ism and fab­u­list his­to­ry. Split into sec­tions devot­ed to Jew­ish resis­tance and inter­cul­tur­al sol­i­dar­i­ty, the book is woven with folk­loric motifs, from the golem to Baba Yaga, and accom­pa­nied by a fourth wall – break­ing page spread that pro­vides sta­tis­tics and sources for fur­ther his­tor­i­cal research.

The book con­cludes with a pow­er­ful, artis­tic trib­ute to the fam­i­ly we’ve been denied — not only those of us in the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, but in every gen­er­a­tion: the cousins we nev­er got to play with because their par­ents were nev­er born, and the nieces and nephews we’ll nev­er get the chance to meet. Courage to Dream hon­ors the resilience of the Jew­ish peo­ple, while still leav­ing space to explore the phan­tom pains of a sev­ered fam­i­ly tree.