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Bearing witness

“It is amazing that art could come from such unimaginable atrocity, that writers have found so many different forms — fiction, memoir, poetry, history, even comic strip — to bear witness. These authors have found a form to give voice to the unspeakable.” — Hazel Rochman I was planning to post a response to last […]

Devil in the details

The July 23rd issue of the New Yorker includes an article about the Holocaust in children’s literature, and particularly the contributions of Jane Yolen in The Devil’s Arithmetic (1988) and her new novel, Mapping the Bones. The article, by Ruth Franklin, makes reference to a contemporary critic of The Devil’s Arithmetic, an  “editor at a […]

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

Dear 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 […]

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (established by the United Nations General Assembly) is January 27 and Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, the United States, and other countries) is in April or May (in 2018 it’s April 12). All of the following titles were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the time of […]

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an international day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. (Yom HaShoah, which takes place in the spring, is similar in purpose but specific to the Jewish community.) Books about the Holocaust were a big part of my own childhood reading — perhaps surprisingly given the cheerful bent of […]

Review of Almost Autumn

Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin; trans. from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger High School    Levine/Scholastic    281 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-88965-0    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-88966-7    $10.99 Ilse Stern, a typical rebellious, lovelorn adolescent, lives with her Jewish family in 1942 Nazi-occupied Oslo, where her father, Isak, runs a tailor shop. A present-tense narration creates immediacy, while […]

P.S. Evolution is real

So the Rialto, CA, school district has decided that maybe it’s NOT a good idea to have eighth-graders debate the existence of the Holocaust. I’m of two minds (Opposing Viewpoints: In My Head). While I see the chance for much mischief in such an assignment and believe middle school is too early  for the kind […]

>Flowers in Het Achterhuis?

>Jezebel is self-righteously fuming about an allegedly sexy new book about Anne Frank, Sharon Dogar’s Annexed, being published in this country in October by Houghton. Sadie, the Jezebel columnist, does not seem to remember Anne’s diary very well (“If you’ve read the original diaries, you’ll recall that Anne and Peter’s relationship consists of a lot […]

>Hands Across the Wire

>Betsy Bird, aka Fuse #8, did us the very great favor of reviewing The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

>NOT by the hair of her chinny-chin-chin, apparently

>Off to the Eric Carle Museum today for tomorrow’s program; let’s hope the weather holds out! [UPDATE: It’s not going to. The event has been canceled and will be rescheduled.] Just read that the multimillion-dollar-lawsuit-inspiring Misha, a Holocaust memoir in which the author claimed to have been sheltered by wolves for a time, has been […]