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Books of Jewish interest

We Remember the Holocaust chronicles the Holocaust in the voices of those who survived it. They tell us about Jewish life in Europe before the 1930s and about the violence of Hitler's rise to power. They describe the humiliations of Nazi rule, the struggle to keep families together, the fight for survival in the ghettos, the ultimate horror of the concentration camps.
With its moving first-person voices and original photographs from private collections, We Remember the Holocaust is an intensely personal contribution to the history of a period that must never be forgotten.


"Through the voices of those who lived through the years of terror, Adler pieces together a potent account of Hitler's persecution of the Jewish people."--Booklist

"Through the chilling personal stories, history becomes real."--Publishers Weekly

"A powerful book."--Booklist

Awarded the AJL National Jewish Book Award
Subject of the HBO Emmy winning program "The Number on my great-grandfather's arm."

This is a very simple book with a great deal of information. The Number on My Grandfather's Arm is a conversation between a young girl and her grandfather. For the first time, the young girl notices a number on her grandfather's arm. She asks him what the number means. The girl's mother urges the grandfather to explain the number to the girl. The grandfather explains his experiences during the Holocaust in Poland. Both begin to cry and the young girl tells her grandfather,

I put my hand on Grandpa's and told him, "You shouldn't be ashamed to let people see your number. You didn't do anything wrong. It's the Nazi's who should be ashamed." (p. 22)

The beauty of this book is that each page has a photograph of a grandfather and granddaughter talking together. The author chose to use real people rather than illustrations and it adds to the realistic feel of the book. The author also includes some background history on the war - very simple so that it can be understood by a younger child.  -- Never Forget--Blogger on Holocaust resources

Many years have passed since Morris Kaplan celebrated Hanukkah as a boy with his family in Poland.  He doesn't like to think about the war and what happened in Auschwitz.  Now he has a flower shop and one December week his favorite customers Jonathan and Ilana, children, invite him to celebrate Hanukkah at their home.  



"A tribute to the power of friendship and faith." -- The Boston Globe

"Optimistic . . . touches on many universal themes." -- The New York Times

"A memorable family read-aloud." -- USA Today

"(One) of the most beautiful and poignant new picture books for children."  -- New York Post 

Froim Baum was born in Warsaw in 1936. When his father dies he was placed in Janusz Korczak's orphanage. Froim often crawled under the ghetto walls to get bread for others in the ghetto. He was on the other side of the walls when the orphanage was liquidated and hurried to the train to join his friends and his beloved Korczak. Again and again Nazi soldiers were sure he was a Polish non-Jewish boy and chased him away. Published by Holiday House.

This is a story of the Warsaw Ghetto told through the eyes of Froim Baum, who was born in Warsaw on April 15, 1926. After his father died, he was placed in Janusz Korczak's orphanage, where he spent some of the happiest years of his childhood. When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Froim and other Jews were forced by Nazi soldiers to live in a walled-off part of the city. Froim sneaked outside the walls to the market, where he bought food and smuggled it in to his family and friends. A few years later, he was sent to the death camps. He managed to survive until he was liberated at dachau by American soldiers at the end of the war. Mr. Adler hopes that by reading Froim's story, people will be reminded of those millions who perished.




Gr. 3-6. As in Hilde and Eli: Children of the Holocaust (1994), Adler and Ritz use a picture-book biography to personalize what happened to millions of Jews under the Nazis. This is the story of Froim Baum, a Holocaust survivor now living in the U.S., who was born to a poor Jewish family in Warsaw in 1926. With the boy's personal biography, Adler weaves together the history of Hitler's rise to power, the Nazi invasion of Poland, the raging anti-Semitism, the herding of more than 400,000 Jews into the walled Warsaw ghetto, and, finally, the death camps. Froim found shelter in the orphanage of the beloved Janusz Korczak and moved between there and home. The story is told with restraint, never exploitative, never sweet. Overwhelmingly, what we see is that this child survived by a mixture of cunning, courage, and sheer accident. The realistic pictures are grim, increasingly brown and gray as the genocide crowds out the light. Several illustrations evoke the photos of the time: the beggars in the street; the skeletal people piled on bunks. There's a lot of history compressed here--some of it may be too much for kids to understand on their own--but this one child's story is a compelling way to focus group discussion on how the unimaginable happened and why. --Hazel Rochman


Horn Book Magazine
A picture book for somewhat older readers relates the experiences of a Jewish boy growing up in Poland during World War II. Froim Baum smuggles food from outside the walls of the Warsaw ghetto and eventually survives a succession of concentration camps, although most of his family does not. The dark, solemn illustrations and understated text add a quiet dignity to the account. From 


Janusz Korczak was an author, radio personality, teacher, and doctor.  Above all else he was a great hero.  As the beloved director of a Jewish orphange in Warsaw, Poland during the rise of the Nazi Party he cared for hundred of children.  They loved him and affectionately called him their "Old Doctor."  He was forced to lead his children to the Treblinka death camp.  Because of his fame he was told by a Nazi officer he could leave and escape death, but he refused to abandon his children.  

Kirkus Reviews

Hilde Rosenzweig and Eli Lax were two of the 1.5 million Jewish children who were victims of the Nazi's ``Final Solution.'' Hilde was not yet ten when Hitler came to power in Germany and her happy childhood was disrupted as she and her family attempted to escape from Nazi persecution. Her brother managed to get away; he went to the United States and fought with the US Army from 1943 to 1946. Hilde and her mother, however, were not permitted to leave Germany. They were gassed on a train when Hilde was 18. Eli was born nine years after Hilde in a village called Zarich, Czechoslovakia. He hoped one day to follow his eldest sister to America, but in 1944 he was taken first to a ghetto and then to Auschwitz, where he died with his father and brother. Eli's sisters survived to tell his story. Adler (A Picture Book of Eleanor Roosevelt, 1991, etc.; A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson, below) provides a surprising amount of information in his brief history. Ritz's washed pictures evoke first a happier then a harrowing time. A sensitive but unsentimental account. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 8-12)

Kirkus Reviews

Adler continues a series of picture books set during WW II with this true account of a young Jewish child's concealment by a family of Dutch farmers. In Ritz's potently somber watercolors, the fears of Lore Baer, only four, come through clearly, first as she sees soldiers arrest her grandfather, then when she is left with a half-Christian couple by her worried parents, and finally during her days as the "niece'' of the Schoutens, fleeing to the next town or hiding in the barn with other fugitives whenever searchers come. So ingrained does her fear of discovery become that when her parents track her down two years later at war's end, she shyly ducks out of sight and only slowly comes to trust them again. In precise but not brutal terms, Adler briefly describes events leading up to the occupation of the Netherlands and the experiences of those who went into hiding, then brings their stories up to the present in an afterword. So real and clearly explained is Lore's anxiety that to younger readers the events that compelled it will not seem remote at all. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)


Random House Review

A thoughtful and accessible look at the life of Anne Frank, author of Diary of a Young Girl and victim of the Holocaust.

Anne and her Jewish family hid in a secret apartment in Amsterdam from 1942 through 1944, when they were discovered by the Nazis. During those harrowing years, Anne kept a diary with her innermost thoughts and fears. She later died in a German concentration camp, but her voice has inspired millions of children across the world through several generations.

David A. Adler's biography series is a beloved classroom tool for introducing the lives of important figures in history. This entry addresses the difficult subject matter of the Holocaust in a way that children will understand.

Backmatter includes a list of important dates and an author's note.



David A. Adler's biography series is a beloved classroom tool for introducing the lives of important figures in history. This entry addresses the difficult subject matter of the Holocaust in a way that children will understand.

"[A] satisfying historical novel." -Kirkus Reviews


Thirteen-year-old Tommy Duncan just wants to root for the Brooklyn Dodgers and listen to the radio. But it's 1940 and the world is changing. His friend Beth just wants to talk about the war in Europe. That's an ocean away, though, and Tommy has more immediate concerns—like Beth looking pretty and his mother's declining health. The stories of a Jewish friend at school, however, begin to make the war more real to him.  Set in the Isolationist period—a time in U.S. history rarely explored in children's literature—this moving novel features a hero who struggles with first love, family responsibilities, and America's role in the world.



        Tell me about your new book. What was your inspiration for the book? ---- Writing Don't Talk To Me About The War was a real process. It began with my fascination with the time between WW I and WW II. I had already written one very successful book of historical fiction about that time period, The Babe and I, a picture book featuring an encounter with Babe Ruth. The book won may awards including a Golden Kite Honor Award and the California Medal. Don't Talk To Me About The War began for me with the idea to fashion a story on one boy and his family's reaction to Roosevelt's fireside chats. After all, so much has been said and written about those talks, how families gathered by their radios to listen. Well, how did they react? That idea proved unworkable. The chats were too infrequent, only about once every six months. Instead I began with the 1940 rescue at Dunkirk, two views, one of a girl wrapped up in the horror of the trapped soldiers and her best friend Tommy who feels it's all happening so far away, across the ocean, and means very little to him. But more is happening in Tommy's life. There's baseball and his favorite team the Brooklyn Dodgers, radio, his friend Beth whose mother recently died and whose father works in the press room of the New York Daily Mirror, their friend Sarah's escape from Nazi-held Europe, and Tommy's mother's medical issues. It's a coming-of-age story as Tommy assumes more responsibilities at home as his mother becomes less able to care for Tommy and his father. Was any research involved? Oh, yes! I began with a calendar. I always knew what day it was in my story: May 23, 1940; May 24, 1940; May 25, 1940. And as I wrote I had that day's newspaper on my desk. If I wrote the Dodgers won that day, they did. The score and the details of the game in the book are accurate. The radio schedule and the weather is also accurate. The news reports about the rescue at Dunkirk are accurate, too, even the slow pace the full news reached the United States. Also, for Tommy's mother's illness I consulted old medical texts and a woman whose mother was diagnosed in 1939 with the same illness. I didn't want to know how it's treated today. I needed to know how it was diagnosed and treated in 1940. Note: In May 1940 Europe was at war and here there was talk about our country's role in the fighting. Thirteen year old Tommy Duncan is not much interested in that talk. He's more interested in the Brooklyn Dodgers, his team, popular radio programs, and his friend Beth. But problems at home refocus Tommy. While David worked on this book he had the day's newspaper--the 1940 newspaper--sitting on his desk. While writing the book, he felt it was 1940! One night, he came to dinner and asked his wife why there was snow outside. It's May! Renee replied, it might be May for you, but for everyone else it's February.