There is a plethora of choices when seeking out a quality book about the Holocaust. Laura’s Twin should be at the top of the list. Laura is a typical tween preparing for her Bat Mitzvah. Her Rabbi asks her to be part of a “twinning program,” which involves the symbolic pairing of a Bat or Bar Mitzvah boy or girl and a victim of the Holocaust who was unable to have a ceremony. Initially Laura is hesitant. She is too busy with her life and Bat Mitzvah preparations. But then she is given the diary of a girl name Sara, and she is drawn to her story of life in the Warsaw ghetto. Soon events in her life have new significance in light of Sara’s struggles. Through Sara’s diary, readers learn about the event of the Warsaw Ghetto from a personal perspective. There is a great sense of pride in the resistance fighters. The final outcome of the book is surprising and satisfying. The author beautifully melds historical events with the contemporary issues Laura is facing. Many photographs are included, which helps to bring the story to life. At the end of the book is a full description of the twining program and details about the experiences of young men and women who have participated in this righteous endeavor. This story of history, faith, and hope belongs in every public and Judaic library and would be a welcomed addition to any Holocaust curriculum. Highly recommended for ages 11 and up.
Barbara Bietz is a freelance writer and children’s book reviewer. She is currently a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. Barbara is the author of the middle grade book, Like a Maccabee. She has a blog dedicated to Jewish books for children at www.BarbaraBBookBlog.Blogspot.com.