Angel Girlby Laurie Friedman, Ofra Amit
Herman lives in a labor camp. It is World War II, and the Nazis have made him a prisoner. He is forced to work long hours, and his only food is soup made of water. Soon he loses the will to go on. Then she appears. A young girl on the other side of the barbed-wire fencean angel girl, bearing food and hope in the most hopeless of times. She seems like a
Herman lives in a labor camp. It is World War II, and the Nazis have made him a prisoner. He is forced to work long hours, and his only food is soup made of water. Soon he loses the will to go on. Then she appears. A young girl on the other side of the barbed-wire fencean angel girl, bearing food and hope in the most hopeless of times. She seems like a miracle. And for Herman, the miracles have just begun...Based on a true tale of survival, Angel Girl is a story of love, hope, and the strength of the human spirit.
This picture book describes how young Herman Rosenblatt survived internment in a German concentration camp thanks in part to a girl who came to the barbed-wire fence each day and threw him an apple. Years later, after emigrating to the U.S., he and his "angel girl" were reunited by a blind date. They have been married for 50 years. This heartwarming story is told in a spare, poetic, first-person text that brings the poignancy of the young man's situation to the surface. The stylized color illustrations are stark but not graphic. Light is well used to draw viewers to the characters' faces, which is where the main action of this emotional tale takes place. While the pictures show no violence, the text, including the author's note, does not shy away from mention of starvation, fear, and death. Little historical context is provided, which makes this book more appropriate for readers already familiar with the Holocaust. The romanticism and the fact that this is a true story (including a back-matter photo of the real Herman and Roma) should make this an easy sell to older children in spite of its picture-book format. As a story of resistance and survival, it fits in well with the trend in Holocaust juvenile literature of conveying messages of empowerment.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Meet the Author
When Laurie Friedman first read a newspaper account of Herman Rosenblat's tale of survival, she was so moved she knew she had to find him and find a way to tell his story to children. She hopes Angel Girl provides hope and reassurance to readers everywhere. Ms. Friedman is the author of the popular Mallory chapter book series as well as many award-winning picture books, including I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House and Love, Ruby Valentine. She lives in Coral Gables, Florida.
Ofra Amit has illustrated several children's picture books in Israel, as well as an adult Holocaust memoir. Angel Girl is her first children's picture book published in the United States. Ms. Amit lives in Sede Warburg, Israel.
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This book is an excellent tool to explain to young children about the Holocaust in a very positive and upbeat way. It's based on a true story about Holocaust survivors Herman and Roma Rosenblat. Eleven-year old Herman watches his mother forced by the Nazis into boarding a train. He never sees her again. He and his brothers are herded to a different train and Herman ends up in a labor camp. Suffering terribly from long hard hours of physical labor with very little food, Herman dreams of his mother at night and the comfortable life he and his family once led. Mom appears to him one night in a dream and says, 'Don't worry, Herman. An angel will save you.' Two days later, he meets her. She is standing on the opposite side of the barbed wire fence and tosses Herman an apple. She comes every day, waits until the guards aren't watching, and tosses Herman an apple. It helps him stay nourished and gives him hope that he can survive the hardships at the labor camp. The war ends and Herman is set free. He and the girl meet at the fence one last time. He tells the girl, 'You were my Angel Girl'. He leaves the camp and never sees his Angel Girl again. Herman leaves Germany and goes to England, and later, to the United States. Now he lives in New York and is an adult. You will just have to read this book to see why this story will make you cry ¿ with some sadness, but most of all, with a ton of gladness! I highly recommend this story for its upbeat attitude yet it also explains the horrors a child would endure while being held in a Nazi labor camp during World War II. The haunting illustrations by Ofra Amit and the carefully chosen text by Laurie Friedman make this book a future classic and a keeper. A motion picture based on Herman Rosenblat's life entitled THE FENCE is due out in 2009 from Atlantic Overseas Pictures. This is a MUST READ for children and adults alike! ---Gayle Jacobson-Huset ¿ Managing Editor Stories for Children Magazine