Heroes of the Holocaust

Rebec­ca Love Fishkin
  • Review
By – August 30, 2011
Although only 64 pages, this slen­der vol­ume does an excel­lent job of describ­ing many peo­ple involved in sav­ing the lives of Jews dur­ing this peri­od. How­ev­er, it does much more than that. The pref­ace gives an overview of what the Holo­caust was and the his­tor­i­cal fac­tors that cre­at­ed it. Despite the chal­lenges in address­ing this sen­si­tive top­ic, infor­ma­tion about the Holo­caust is pro­vid­ed that is appro­pri­ate for chil­dren as young as ten. The author also pro­vides a time­line that high­lights and sum­ma­rizes the sub­jects she pre­sent­ed as well as a glos­sary of vocab­u­lary, a bib­li­og­ra­phy, and an index. For the most part, the book is writ­ten in short declar­a­tive sen­tences. This style makes it more acces­si­ble not only for 4th to 6th graders, but also for old­er stu­dents who may be sec­ond lan­guage read­ers. Pho­tographs, maps, and quo­ta­tions high­light each chap­ter and add inter­est to the nar­ra­tive. Peo­ple dis­cussed in the book range from the well-known (Miep Geis, Oskar Schindler, and Janusz Kor­czak), to oth­ers less well-known, such as Chi­une Sug­i­hara, Japan’s con­sul in Lithua­nia, and Nicholas Win­ton, a British stock­bro­ker. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no list­ing of these coura­geous peo­ple any­where; they are buried with­in the index. Resis­tance in the ghet­tos and con­cen­tra­tion camps is also cat­a­logued. This book is part of a series called The Holo­caust pub­lished most­ly for school libraries. For ages 10 – 13.
Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

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