Arresting visuals are the distinguishing feature of this introduction to the Holocaust for middle graders.
Divided into three sections, Steele’s capsulized chronicle begins by putting the Holocaust in historical context with information about centuries-old anti-Semitic sentiment in Europe, its co-option by Hitler and the Nazis in post–World War I Germany, and the systematic persecution of Jews with their rise. The second section covers deportations, concentration camps, the Final Solution, and acts of resistance by both Jews and Righteous Gentiles. Steele notes that Jews were not the only victims. The third section covers the liberation of the camps, displaced persons, the Nuremberg trials, and the founding of Israel. The abundant use of photographs is often visually striking, but the flat, dull, textbooklike writing is presented in clumps of text void of nuance, finesse, or narrative cohesion, resulting in a sadly simplistic treatment of a hugely complex subject. Minimal use is made of quotations from perpetrators, survivors, and liberators. There are no source notes, bibliography, suggestions for further reading, or even a list of websites listed in the end matter. Numerous books are already available on the Holocaust, offering a far more compelling and insightful overview of the subject.
An uninspired, unnecessary, superficial treatment of a critically important subject. (photos, maps, glossary, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)