Memories of My Life in a Polish Village

Memories of My Life in a Polish Village

by Toby Knobel Fluek

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In charming yet unsentimental art and text, Fluek, a Jew who grew up in the Polish village of Czernica, here remembers life before, during and after the Russian and Nazi occupations: work in the village and at home; religious observances; the incredible hardships borne by her father, sisters, brother and herself--only she and her mother survived the war. In its general outlines, the story is familiar, but Fluek's quiet dignity as a chronicler is fortifying. Her self-reliance and faith in the future are implicit in her visit to the past, and are presented with a pristine, sophisticated calm in even her most horrifying images: a hospital burning, ignited by Nazis in the Brodyname of a Polish town Ghetto, its Jewish patients perishing; Jewish men in the same ghetto forced to transport wagonloads of Jewish corpses to their final resting place. Fluek's view of the world as returned, in some measure, to sanity buoys the book; her tranquility of palette and word, though never denying the sufferings of the past, is distinctly restorative. The author, who lives in New York City, emigrated in 1949. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Beautiful full-color drawings and paintings accompany each page of text in this moving memoir of life in a Polish village from the peaceful 1930s to the devastating war years and beyond. Fluek literally ``pictures'' her childhood in both art and words--a warm Jewish family life that included farm chores, holiday observance, and good relations with fellow villagers both Jewish and Catholic. She then describes with great restraint the devastation of her world by World War II. The individual vignettes, such as ``Walking Between Bullets'' and ``German Prisoners of War,'' are devastating in the use of spare prose and detailed art. She takes the remains of her family through the Russian occupation, the horrors left by the Nazis in Poland, to a happy ending in America. A wrenchingly beautiful book, appropriate for most libraries.-- Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, Md.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA-- Through exquisite full-color artwork and prose, Fluek offers readers a window into her peaceful existence in Poland before it was shattered by World War II. Her village, family, neighbors, and friends are brought to life in her simple, yet moving, style. Her life is painstakingly depicted through images of Jewish customs and holidays, beginning in the early 1930s when she was a child, through the Nazi occupation, her escape, the loss of her family, and finally safety in the United States. The story's appeal is its simplicity and straightforward, clear descriptions, told without a great deal of emotion. Yet readers will be moved by Fluek's account of her life and the struggles of that time.-- Ellen Swanson, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

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Knopf Publishing Group
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1st ed

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