Tonight begins the beginning of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013 and ends tomorrow night, Monday, April 8th, 2013. This time of year was selected to remember the millions who perished under Hitler’s “final solution” because it corresponds to the time of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which was 70 years ago.
As an educator, I taught all of my students who hailed from around the world and whose parents faced persecution, about the Holocaust, just as I taught them about Slavery, Intolerance, Social Justice, Equal Rights, Equality, Freedoms, Voting, Propaganda, Racism, Anti-Semitism, Prejudice and Bias. There are so many books out there to help our youngest citizens comprehend and internalize injustices and also encourage tolerance, citizenship, what I used to call, “peoplehood,” empathy, compassion and goodwill.
“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”- Joyce Carol Oates
I’d like to share some titles with you; they may not be the newest books out there in the bookstores, but they are books that my students and I loved, discussed and used in their writings. This is just a partial list from the top of my head. There are many, many books whose titles I just can’t remember. If you have any titles, perhaps they will jog my 60-year old memory!
As with any book, you as the parent, caregiver, grandparent, babysitter, will look through the book and see if it is age appropriate.
Here is a sampling of books:
The Diary of Anne Frank-All Ages
Rose Blanche-Roberto Innocenti…K-Adult-Heartwrenching with very few words!
Anne Frank: Life in Hiding by Johanna Hurwitz-Upper Elementary/Grades 6-7
The Big Lie by Isabella Leitner-Just a note: I used this book with my Grades 4-5 English Language Learners and after reading the book, we wrote to Mrs. Leitner who was living in NYC and she responded!!!!!!!
The Book Thief-Markus Zusak-HS-Adult…I love this book!!!!!!
The Lily Cupboard-Shulamith Levy Oppenheim-Grades 1-4
Bonjour, Lonnie-Faith Ringgold-Grades K-5 I love all of Ms Ringgold’s books!
The Island on Bird Street-Uri Olev Grade 5-Adult….I remember reading this book to my son who didn’t like to read or write (Now he’s an English teacher!). We would share this book for several evenings; I would always start off reading and then he would read a few pages. I did this for quite a few books!!!!! Beautiful story!
An Apple for Harriet Tubman-Glennette Tilley Turner-K-Adult…I believe if I enjoy the story, my students/children will enjoy the story.
Molly Bannaky-Alice McGill-1-Adult…Oh how the students loved this book, too, and so did I! Wait till you find out whose grandmother Molly was at the end of the book!!!!!!!
Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust-Eve Bunting-3-Adult