Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 13
- Grade: 5 to 8
- Reading age: 9 to 13
In the spring of 2000, Fumiko Ishioka, the curator of a small Holocaust education centre for children in Tokyo, received a shipment from the Auschwitz museum. Among the items she received was an empty suitcase with the words “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan” written on it. Fumiko and the children at the centre took it upon themselves to find out what became of Hana. The heartbreaking story they uncovered of a brave young girl killed in the Holocaust and survived only by her brother, George, was captured in Karen Levine’s book, and became an icon in Canadian children’s publishing. The response since the book was first published has been overwhelming. This new edition is full of special features, including new photographs, letters, and an audio CD.
About the author
Karen Levine is a prizewinning producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio. Karen has won awards for her radio work, including two Peabody Awards - the Oscars of radio. She originally produced Hana’s Suitcase as a radio documentary before making it into a book. Though she travels widely to talk about the book, she makes her home in Toronto with her partner and her son.
Hana’s Suitcase is a “Must Have” purchase for every Judaica library from small synagogues to seminaries and large universities. If you don’t have it, buy this new version. If you do already own it, the additional information here will increase its power for every reader. As a testament to what books can still do in the digital age, the investment is well worth it.
Association of Jewish Libraries' Reviews
Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album (A Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers)In 2000, a mysterious suitcase arrived at a children’s Holocaust education centre in Japan marked “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan.” The curator and the children at the centre were determined to learn what had become of Hana. Killed in the Holocaust and survived only by her brother George, her story was captured in the book Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine. This new edition, marking the tenth anniversary of its first publication, contains the original story plus over 60 pages of new materials and an audio CD. Originally published in 2002, by Second Story Press (Our Choice 2003 Starred Selection).
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.