When I received an email about a nonfiction graphic novel for kids called Survivors of the Holocaust, I was immediately intrigued. Holocaust education is something that I believe to be very important (as many of you may know from having read my post about The March of the Living ), but it is also a topic that needs to be taught with sensitivity and with regard to what is age-appropriate.
I wasn’t sure about how I felt about Holocaust education coming in the form of a graphic novel directed towards kids, but I wanted to check it out.
Edited by Kath Shackleton and illustrated by Zane Whittingham, ‘Survivors of the Holocaust’ is a collection of TRUE stories from six Holocaust survivors that went through such a traumatic time in history, all told in their own words. The stories are vastly different from one another and some of the stories surprised me. For example, it never occurred to me that someone who had survived the war might not realize that the war was over until years later because of the circumstances of where they were being kept (hidden) for their own protection.
Graphic novels are not my preferred way to consume information, but they can be an effective way to get reluctant readers to read and to learn through reading. Included in the back of the book is information on what happened to each survivor, a Holocaust glossary, illustrated timeline, and online resources for Holocaust education.
According to Youth Services Book Review, these true stories can also “help kids understand the true impact of childhood separations from their families, the chilling prospect of never seeing your family members again and can help engage them in discussions about current events on immigration in our country today”
November is Jewish Book Month and as the month comes to a close, I wanted to share with you that this book is not only available for you to have in your home, but a great idea to recommend to your children’s schools as a teaching aid as well as for reference in the library. You can even let your school know that teachers can download a Free Common Core Aligned Educator Guide for Grades 6-8
With so many Holocaust survivors passing on, it is so important to keep their stories alive, and this book does just that.
Here are some of the things that have been written about the book:
“Powerful, emotional, deeply disturbing that leaves us with a sense of loss, even with these children’s survival. We need more books like this. We must never forget. Buy this book for your classrooms and libraries!” —Imagination Soup
“WOW. Beautiful presentation of awful stories. The format makes history accessible to those who may struggle with nonfiction.” —Teen Librarian Toolbox
“The narratives and drawings no doubt will raise many questions in the minds of children.” —San Diego Jewish World
“These are difficult narratives, and the six survivors have done a great service to share their stories and provide great lessons for our youth, at a cost of great personal emotion and grief.” —BookTrib
“Using an engaging format to shed light on a devastating yet important topic, this is a strong choice for most libraries.” —School Library Journal
The book is recommended for ages 10 and up, but as always, I recommend reviewing it first as you know best what is age-appropriate for your own child.
You can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here. Consider it not only for your home library but as a donation to your child’s classroom or school library