Eli Remembers

Eli Remembers

by Ruth Vander Zee, Bill Farnsworth, Marian Sneider
     
 

Year after year, Eli watches the solemn lighting of seven candles at his family's celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. On such a happy occasion, his parents and grandparents always seem sad, and Eli can't understand why.

Then one year Eli travels to Eastern Europe to learn more about his family history. There, he learns how the candles

Overview

Year after year, Eli watches the solemn lighting of seven candles at his family's celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. On such a happy occasion, his parents and grandparents always seem sad, and Eli can't understand why.

Then one year Eli travels to Eastern Europe to learn more about his family history. There, he learns how the candles represent his family's connection to the Holocaust in Lithuania, and how remembering his ancestors can help heal years of grief and shame.

This powerful story, illuminated by Bill Farnsworth's sensitive brush strokes and muted palette, can be used as an introduction to World War II and the Holocaust, and will also remind young readers how they can make a difference in the lives of their families.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
Florida Book AwardsBronze Medal, Children's Literature (2007)
Children's Book CouncilNotable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (2008)
International Reading Association-Children's Book Council Joint CommitteeChildren's Choices (2008)
 

School Library Journal
"The rich, textured oil paintings beautifully communicate the somber and serious mood of the text."
 
Publishers Weekly
"Simple, direct language follows Eli's trajectory from puzzlement and ignorance to horrific realization and resolve."

Publishers Weekly

When Eli and his family travel to Lithuania, he finally learns why sadness clouds their Rosh Hashanah gatherings: his great-grandmother Gussie's father and six siblings were among the 80,000 Jews massacred in the Ponar Forest near Vilnius during WWII. Vander Zee (Mississippi Morning) and Sneider, whose experiences inspired the book, use simple, direct language to follow Eli's trajectory from puzzlement and ignorance to horrific realization and resolve. As the family gathers at the site of the massacre, the prose is unsparing and unrushed, occupying several pages. "And then they fell... into this pit," Eli's father explains, after recounting how Jews were rounded up and shot in the back. "The next day their bodies were burned." Farnsworth (The Christmas Menorahs) freezes the action in his realistic oil paintings, an approach that makes the most of the emotionally wrenching subject matter. He portrays Eli's reaction in a stunning close-up-his face is expressionless except for his sad, wide eyes. But in this moment when innocence is lost (Eli's first response is the utterly authentic, "Were children killed too?"), a sense of maturity dawns. Eli realizes that the world is bigger than his own experience, and that each generation is entrusted with the responsibility and sacredness of memory. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802853097
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/15/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Ruth Vander Zee, teacher and author, has also writtenErika's Story, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti(Creative Editions), and Mississippi Morning,illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Eerdmans). Ruth lives inMiami, Florida.

Marian Sneider (1934–2005), author and familytherapist, wrote professionally for the Miami Herald,Miami News, and Highlights andTurtle children's magazines. EliRemembers was inspired by events from her own family,and is her first published book for children. Marian passedaway in December 2005.

Bill Farnsworth has illustrated more than forty books,including Louis Sockalexis: Native American BaseballPioneer by Bill Wise (Lee & Low) and The Flag withFifty-Six Stars by Susan Goldman Rubin (HolidayHouse). Bill lives in Florida.

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