Stories of the Holocaust for Kids
However the human spirit lives on. And in the midst of horror there are still answers to be found.
While most of these holocaust books are true, some are fictionalised from the facts - and both have value. While some parents might be concerned about their children reading on this subject, each child will respond differently when reading about traumatic events. For many, reading about the Holocaust and war will bring up the need to know more - and hopefully promote discussion and knowledge, compassion and care. Some stories are told in ways that will help children on this journey, and hopefully by sharing about some of these titles you'll be able to find the right ones for you.
The story of Hanna and her family encaptures warmth of character and heart in a cold setting where evil is creeping in. We feel Hanna's bewilderment as her family's comfortable and normal life with the pleasures of school, a best friend and warm cinnamon buns gives way to an increasingly hostile Poland in the late 1930s. Hanna watches as her parents debate whether to leave or stay. And then it is too late. Little details are described while big things are happening; like the smell of farm animal manure as they are hidden in a cart escaping Warsaw. Shock creeps up on Hanna (and the reader) with sinister speed, as fear grows and hope vanishes. Devastation of her family inevitably follows and yet there are glimmers of good in amongst the nightmarish reality. Music is held up as a sign that beauty can still exist even in a place as wretched as the Warsaw ghetto. This beautifully told tale is suitable for sensitive readers 10years +
This series by the current Australian Children's Laureate, Morris Gleitzman, has received lots of acclaim and it is well-deserved. The six books do not have to be read consecutively, and each gives an action-packed, deeply sensitive, moving and at times harrowing journey through different periods of Felix's life through the war years and beyond. Harsh times and the terrible violence are not shied away from. I do think that the fourth book in the series "Soon" crossed a line with its appropriateness for a readership below 12 years of age. This is problematic as most readers (and many well below the age of 12) will have read the previous books and (like my daughter) will be incensed at being told they should not read this one, yet. Maybe, the latest book is a triumph, and the rays of light amidst the darkness of Felix's experiences provide humour in the heartbreak, and hope for a better future.
|Hiding Edith - Kathy Kacer|
I had never heard about this amazing story, and told through Edith's eyes, the reader experiences the terror of living at that time of war and persecution and the fragile hope of being in a place where survival may be possible. Photos of the people and places provide further evidence of this remarkable instance of light in the darkness. A truly uplifting read.