THE YEAR OF GOODBYES by Debbie Levy
Kirkus Star

THE YEAR OF GOODBYES

Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Writing for modern readers about the Holocaust is fraught, and when children are the intended audience, the difficulties can be insurmountable. Levy meets the challenges admirably, partly because she had access to unique primary sources: Her mother’s autograph book, a poesiealbum, written by friends and family in Hamburg in 1938 and a diary from that same year, when she was 12, form a poignant and chilling basis for the true story of her family’s experiences. Each chapter is a translation of an album or diary entry followed by a poem that evokes sadness, despair, anger and longing to escape. The author’s introduction and afterword are integral to the work, as they explain some of the history and tell the fates of friends and family members—those who escaped and survived, those who “died at the hands of the Nazis” and those whose exact fate she was unable to discern. While writing as truthfully as the subject demands, she also spares young readers the gruesome details of those deaths. An immensely powerful experience that needs to be read with an adult. (Poetry/nonfiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: March 16th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4231-2901-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010




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