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On Hazel Rochman’s “Beyond Oral History: What Makes a Good Holocaust Book?” (from 2006)

bartoletti_hitler youthDear White House Press Secretary:

I don’t hold out much hope that you think this way, but if I were you on this day after your epic what-I-hope-was-a-gaffe regarding Hilter, Assad, and chemical weapons, I’d be frantically trying to educate myself about what we mean when we refer to the Holocaust.

Here’s a great way to begin: read Hazel Rochman’s article from our What Makes a Good… series: “Beyond Oral History: What Makes a Good Holocaust Book?” published in the September/October 2006 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Hazel’s article highlights books that put the Nazis’ WWII atrocities in context for children and young adults (and grownups), such as Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s Hitler Youth:

There are many Holocaust accounts of victims, survivors, and bystanders; Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow (Houghton, 2005) by Susan Campbell Bartoletti tells Holocaust history mainly from the viewpoint of the perpetrators, showing how Hitler relied heavily on a segment of the population that was too young to vote. It’s the personal stories that make the narrative so gripping, and it is those specifics that always raise the universal question, Could it happen again?

From there, look at our Holocaust booklist from January (three long months ago) in recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (Not one “Holocaust center” to be found, by the way.)

To end on a less-heavy note, as you may know, Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover this week. I hope you made it to the White House’s seder on Monday night; if not, Passover continues until April 18th, so there’s still time. Here’s an annotated list of more recent Passover picture books.

I hope you find these resources enlightening. Happy Passover, and for Pete’s sake, show some humanity.

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About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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