A deeply moving, beautifully written portrayal of an evil that cannot be allowed to be forgotten.

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IT RAINED WARM BREAD

MOISHE MOSKOWITZ'S STORY OF HOPE

Moishe Moskowitz’s painful experiences in the Holocaust are expressed in brief, gut-wrenching poems.

Moishe knows fear; he must avoid the Polish boys who will beat him for being Jewish. When the Nazis come in 1939, the danger grows exponentially, but they “could not have imagined such evil” would engulf them. Moishe views the Nazis as prowling, voracious wolves, and that metaphor is used throughout the poems. Changes come quickly: yellow stars, disappearances, and forced labor. They are driven from their home and pushed into a ghetto, followed by liquidation, murders, and deportation to the concentration camps. His family is torn from him, as “the Nazis peel us like onions,” his mother and sister, father, brother. He endures unending deprivation and starvation. Kindness is rare and punishable by death, but a Christian friend hides the family in the early days, a political prisoner gives him a bit of extra food, and, near the end, a group of Czech women throw warm, fresh bread into the cattle cars. Gray-toned thumbnail sketches can only hint at the devastating emotions. Moishe’s daughter provides the story, as told to her by her father, and entrusts Smith to pen poems that strike at the heart of each moment, each fear, each horror and make it personal for readers even as time erases witnesses.

A deeply moving, beautifully written portrayal of an evil that cannot be allowed to be forgotten. (author’s note) (Historical verse fiction. 10-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-16572-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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REFUGEE

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

Coming soon!!

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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