Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II

Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II

by Marisabina Russo
     
 

Rachel's Oma (her grandmother) has two picture albums. In one the photographs show only happy times — from after World War II, when she and her daughters had come to America. But the other album includes much sadder times from before — when their life in Germany was destroyed by the Nazis' rise to power.
For as long as Rachel can remember, Oma

Overview

Rachel's Oma (her grandmother) has two picture albums. In one the photographs show only happy times — from after World War II, when she and her daughters had come to America. But the other album includes much sadder times from before — when their life in Germany was destroyed by the Nazis' rise to power.
For as long as Rachel can remember, Oma has closed the other album when she's gotten to the sad part. But today Oma will share it all. Today Rachel will hear about what her grandmother, her mother, and her aunts endured. And she'll see how the power of this Jewish family's love for one another gave them the strength to survive.
Marisabina Russo illuminates a difficult subject for young readers with great sensitivity. Based on the author's own family history, Always Remember Me is a heartbreaking — and inspiring — book sure to touch anyone who reads it.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-The experiences of Russo's relatives before, during, and after World War II are the basis for this story about a grandmother sharing with her young granddaughter photo albums of her "first life" (in Germany) and her "second life" (after the war). Rachel's family gathers for Sunday dinner at Oma's. After the meal, Oma tells the girl of her marriage and her family's happy life; her husband's death after World War I; the rise of the Nazi party and denial of rights to Jews; the burning and looting of Jewish businesses; and life in a concentration camp. At war's end, Oma and her three daughters were reunited in America. Now she gives Rachel the gold heart necklace that her own grandmother gave her many years ago when her family left Poland for Germany ("When you wear this-always remember me and-May luck follow you wherever you go"). This book introduces the Holocaust in a simple but factual narrative that can be easily understood by youngsters who have no knowledge of World War II. Gouache illustrations in Russo's familiar folk style are accompanied by many re-creations of old photos, government papers, money, an identity card-all helping to bring the events to life. Photos on the endpapers show the author's family. This offering answers the need for appropriate Holocaust literature for young children and should be considered a first purchase.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Russo has found a way to tell young children about the Holocaust by recasting her own family's story-the one her own grandmother told her-in a lightly fictionalized version, with Oma telling a small girl named Rachel about her two photo albums. One is full of pictures Rachel knows, of herself, her mother, grandmother and her aunts. The other is of Oma's life, first in Poland and then in Germany, where her family moved because "Jewish people were treated better there." Oma's own grandmother gave her a gold heart necklace before she left, and that token is a leitmotif as WWI breaks out, and Oma's husband takes it to the front and back home again. When the Nazis come to power in Germany, Oma and her daughters are separated, but miraculously survive concentration camps and the death of spouses. One daughter, who had escaped to America, kept the gold heart, which Oma now presents to Rachel. Matte gouache illustrations with the hieratic form of family photographs provide just the right counterpoint to Russo's exquisitely understated text. (Picture book. 6-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689869204
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/22/2005
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
502,013
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Marisabina Russo is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Line Up Book, which won an International Reading Association Children's Book Award, and Come Back, Hannah!, which was named a Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended book. Always Remember Me is based on the survival story of her own grandmother's family during the Holocaust. Ms. Russo lives in Westchester County, New York.

Marisabina Russo is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Line Up Book, which won an International Reading Association Children's Book Award, and Come Back, Hannah!, which was named a Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended book. Always Remember Me is based on the survival story of her own grandmother's family during the Holocaust. Ms. Russo lives in Westchester County, New York.

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