Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 13
- Grade: 4 to 8
- Reading age: 9 to 13
Do young people today find meaning in the Holocaust? That’s the question that prompted a writing project across North America, Italy, and Australia asking young people to share their ideas about this time in history. Some students wrote short stories. Some discussed the impact of books they had read and wrote about the messages that they understood from these books. Several interviewed survivors and recorded their impressions. Many talked about how they have tried to make sense of this history in the world in which they now live. Others created works of art. Children wrote from their hearts with sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and great insight. Their teachers saw this opportunity as a gift, and it proves to all that young people can make a meaningful connection to the Holocaust. Their contributions give hope for a more peaceful and tolerant future.
About the author
Kathy Kacer est une auteure primée qui a écrit de nombreux livres sur l'holocauste pour les jeunes lecteurs, dont The Magician of Auschwitz, L'histoire d'Edith, Le journal de Sara et Les espions de la nuit. Elle s'estime honorée de contribuer à faire connaître l'histoire familiale de Jenny Kay Dupuis. Kathy vit avec sa famille à Toronto.
Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her writing, including the American Jewish Library Association Award. In 1999, she wrote the first book in Second Story's Holocaust Remembrance Series, The Secret of Gabi's Dresser. Since then, she's penned four other books in the series. Kacer now writes about the Holocaust for young readers and travels the country speaking about it. Kacer lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family.
Journal entries, letters, drawings, and descriptive passages created by students throughout Canada, with some added entries from other countries as well, are brief but thoughtful, showing clarity of feeling and understanding of the role of memory in giving meaning to sacrificed lives.
The volume, edited by Kathy Kacer, describes the impact of the Holocaust on the lives of the children, each entry marked by a determination to speak for those whose voices were stilled and to confront a painful past with hope and compassion.
These students' reactions help to make this piece of history come alive for young readers. Their interpretations may help other middle school students clarify their own understanding of the Holocaust, with the hope that history might never repeat itself.
The Fall Book Review
At times, the students’ writings become historically impossible, but excellent editing points out the anachronisms and allows the synthesis of the time to be interesting rather than distracting...This is an innovative way to have young people process and respond to historical events.
School Library Journal
The question, “Do young people find meaning in the Holocaust?” prompted a writing project in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Italy that generated responses from sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, both Jewish and Gentile. In a collection of essays, stories, letters, poems, and drawings, they lend their voices in ways that go beyond expectations
Association of Jewish Libraries, Reviews
These child-authored stories are testimonies to the skill of each author to place himself or herself in the minds of Holocaust survivors.
On the back cover of the book the question “Do young people find meaning in the Holocaust?” is asked. This collection of writings, as well as all the other pieces submitted in response to the project, shows us emphatically that they most certainly do.
The London Jewish Community News