"Kathy Kacer travels widely talking about the importance of remembering the Holocaust and how to talk about it with young people. She has written many award-winning books in the Holocaust Remembrance Series and her books are being sold in more than 20 countries. She embarked on this project with educators Karen Krasny, Alan Gotlib, Susan Gordin, and Shawntelle Nesbitt because they wanted to prove that young people do feel a meaningful connection to the Holocaust. www.kathykacer.com"
Gr 5-8-Based on the award-winning book (Second Story Press, 2001) by Canadian author Kathy Kacer, this is the story of 13-year-old Clara and her younger brother, Peter, who are deported from Prague to a concentration camp in Terezin (Theresienstadt) in 1943 along with their parents. The confusion of ghetto incarceration and the separation from one another immediately impact the children as they are forced into Nazi hands. The story follows Clara's adjustment to hunger, filthy conditions, sickness, and inhumane treatment. Through it all, she plaintively questions the surreal life she's experiencing. Cameo appearances by famous artists and musicians in Terezin build credibility, giving listeners a sense of the immensely talented Jewish population arrested and held for deportation. Many accurate details are woven throughout the tale, including soccer matches between teams of Jewish boys, a formal visit by the International Red Cross, and the legendary operatic production of "Brundibar" that gave hope and purpose to those suffering in the ghetto. Parallel to Clara's situation is Peter's decision to escape from Terezin, driving home the point that freedom from tyranny is essential to survival, even when the consequences may be fatal. Although the characters are sympathetic and their plight is horrendous, the text occasionally slips into contemporary slang. Narrator Eileen Stevens does a good job of voicing the children's emotions. However, the gravity of the Holocaust eludes her narration and the European accents aren't consistent.-Robin Levin, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher/Fellow, Fort Washakie, WY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.