Children's Literature - Rebecca JosephThis first book in a series explores the troubled history of the Jewish people. Starting with a brief description of the unique features of the Jewish religion and people, the book then outlines the various efforts of different empires and countries to defeat and/or convert the Jews. the focus moves from the Roman empire to the Spanish Inquisition and finally to the problems in Germany that led to the rise of Hitler. A wide range of historians, educators, and experts have come together to produce this fabulous series about the Holocaust. The easy to read yet comprehensive narratives are accompanied by black-and-white photos and other primary source materials. The "Holocaust Series" will be an excellent resource for social studies teachers.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6 UpThis fine new Holocaust series is impeccably researched and well presented with a wealth of good-quality black-and-white photos from various archives. Quotes are woven into the narratives, and relevant background information appears in boxes that are interspersed throughout, yet there is nothing stilted or text-bookish in either the writing or format. Book One provides a social and economic history of the Jews, shaped and punctuated by repeated acts of persecution, actions that in modern times lead to the growth of Zionism and the Holocaust. Book Two is a description of and commentary on the increasing anti-Semitism and restrictions upon the Jews, first in Germany and then in other countries as conditions deteriorated and panic escalated throughout Europe. Book Three begins with Germany's invasion of Poland and Czechoslovakia, and ends with the forming of the Axis partners, including Russia, Japan, and Italy, whose fascist dictator had once scorned Hitler and who had good relations with Jews. Those who helped the Jews are not neglected, nor are the complex relations between Poles and Jews. The presence of little known information and quotes throughout reveal the depth of the author's research. Book Four records the full fury of the Holocaust as Germany implemented the genocide of the Jews. Book Five chronicles the last battles, resistance, rescue, and liberation. It includes a discussion of the plight of the Displaced Persons (DPs) and of U. S. President Harry Truman's efforts on their behalf. Book Six continues the story of the DP camps, homelessness, and the creation of the state of Israel. It describes the Nuremberg Trials and the fate of many Nazis after the war. The volume closes with instances of other genocides and poses the moral injunction: "To Be a Bystander Is to Share in the Guilt." Book Seven consists of chronologically arranged primary-source documents that can be used with the first six books or can stand alone. Book Eight contains a topical annotated bibliography coded by reading levels, a list of illustrated books (art and photo-essays, but not children's picture books), a topical annotated videography, listings of Web sites and CD-ROMS, and museums and resource centers. An outstanding set.Marcia W. Posner, Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY
Kirkus ReviewsAn interesting foreword launches this first volumesummarizing 4,000 years of Jewish historyin the Holocaust series. Altman introduces Judaism as the world's oldest surviving religion, presents Abraham as the first monotheist, questions Christian monotheism, and includes a brief summary of Jewish persecutions through the ages. Black-and-white reproductions, cartoons, and etchings often depict images of hate and intolerance; back matter includes chronologies to help readers gain a context for the material, and suggested readings for further study. That's fortunate, for the scope of the series, discussed in the preface, is broad; this first volumean ambitious undertaking that falls prey to oversimplificationdoes not stand alone, but will require supplementary texts to give readers a real overview of history.
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