As a child Henryk Goldszmidt saw that there were many poor children near his home in Poland. He wanted to play with them but his parents, who were rich, wouldn’t let him associate with them. When he got older he wrote poems, plays, and stories for them and later went to medical school to become a doctor. He began to write stories again about the poor under his pen name, Janusz Korczak. He became one of Poland’s best-loved children’s writers. In 1912, Korczak opened a model orphanage for Jewish children from the poorest families. He became known throughout Poland for his progressive ideas in educating children. When Hitler invaded Warsaw, Dr. Korczak famously refused to be saved, marching with his 200 orphans to the train that took them to their deaths in Treblinka. This short chapter book with illustrations on each page and good use of white space is a good way to introduce the subject of the Holocaust to children in grades 2 – 5. The muted realistic illustrations reflect the dark subject of the book. Afterword, bibliography, chronology of important dates in Dr. Korczak’s life.
Barbara Silverman had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University. She worked as a children’s librarian at the Corpus Christi Public Libraries and at the Corpus Christi ISD before retiring. She worked as a volunteer at the Astor Judaic Library of the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla, CA. Sadly, Barbara passed away is 2012.