My Canary Yellow Star

( 5 )

Overview

The Second World War was a time of terrible injustices. It was also a time of incredible bravery. My Canary Yellow Star is the remarkable story of one of the last century’s greatest heroes, Raoul Wallenberg, who was responsible for saving as many as 100,000 lives.

Young Marta’s life in Budapest has been shattered by the war. First, her school closes. Jews are prohibited from attending classes. Then her father, along with other able-bodied men, is arrested and sent to work ...

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My Canary Yellow Star

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Overview

The Second World War was a time of terrible injustices. It was also a time of incredible bravery. My Canary Yellow Star is the remarkable story of one of the last century’s greatest heroes, Raoul Wallenberg, who was responsible for saving as many as 100,000 lives.

Young Marta’s life in Budapest has been shattered by the war. First, her school closes. Jews are prohibited from attending classes. Then her father, along with other able-bodied men, is arrested and sent to work digging ditches on the eastern front. The family’s apartment is confiscated, and Marta, her brother, and her mother must share cramped space with her aunt and cousin. Food, warm clothing, and any kind of personal freedom have all but vanished.

Jewish life becomes more and more confined as the old people, women, and children are forced into the ghetto. From there, the next step is the waiting cattle cars and the concentration camps. But Marta’s family is lucky. They are numbered among those who could be saved by the efforts of Raoul Wallenberg.

Among the few points of hope was this extraordinary Swedish diplomat. Raoul Wallenberg issued papers to thousands of Jews, declaring them to be Swedish citizens. Wallenberg was questioned by the Russians after the war and disappeared, possibly to die in Siberia. An international movement has been in place for decades to press Russia for news of his fate. Although details of his death remain a mystery, he has come to represent courage and justice in the face of great evil.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…[a] moving, atmospheric story…Girls will be drawn to courageous Marta, her romance, and her indomitable spirit.”
Booklist

“[My Canary Yellow Star] is not just a welcome addition to Holocaust fiction but an extraordinary novel in and of itself.”
Books in Canada

“Wiseman…uses a dispassionate first-person narrative voice that doesn’t sensationalize the horrors of the occupation of Hungary. At the same time she leaves readers in no doubt about the fear and desperation felt by Jews as the Nazis stepped up their campaign of extermination.”
Quill & Quire

“How Marta and her family adapt, the details of their daily lives, their hopes, fears, embarrassments, and dangers are portrayed with vivid poignancy…These ingredients and more are woven together in a fast paced story line focusing on Marta’s determination, true grit, and, on occasion, sheer luck. My Canary Yellow Star is a dynamic, nail-biting read.”
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

“…what makes this story different…is that Marta remains a typical teenager…[My Canary Yellow Star is] a suspenseful account of a period of great suffering and injustice…”
Winnipeg Free Press

“…goodness and bravery in the midst of unspeakable evil makes this story an inspiring read.”
The Chronicle-Herald
Children's Literature
Fifteen-year-old Marta was working on math equations when the principal abruptly entered her classroom to announce that the German army had invaded their city of Budapest, Hungary, and her Jewish school was closed. The day was March 19, 1944. It began a year in which Marta would lose her home, her father, her grandmother, her aunt and her first love. Yet Marta was not deported to a concentration camp in Poland. She suffered the humiliation, starvation and cruelty of the Budapest Ghetto. This is a grim story lightened by the heroic deeds of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who rescued 100,000 Hungarian Jews. On more than one occasion, Marta and members of her family are saved from deportation by Wallenberg's rescue operation. The depiction of this amazing hero through the eyes of characters who owe their lives to his selfless courage gives this book a unique perspective. Readers will also be absorbed by the independent Marta and her relationship with Peter, a Gentile boy who is willing to risk his own safety to visit her in the ghetto. This is a compelling read for young adults.
—Jackie Hechtkopf
KLIATT
Fifteen-year-old Marta lives in Budapest in 1944. Along with other Jews, she watches powerlessly as she and her family suffer the harsh consequences of the German occupation. Jewish schools are closed; Marta's father is deported; and the rest of the family must scramble to find "yellow star" housing. Crowding and humiliation are soon joined by fierce hunger and escalating violence. The threat of death is imminent—until Marta hears about a man named Raoul Wallenberg. Wallenberg, a real historical figure, was a Swedish diplomat who issued Swedish protective passports to Hungarian Jews during the war and convinced both the Nazis and the German-sympathetic Hungarian government to honor them. In a way that seems almost magical to anyone familiar with Nazi tendencies, Jews possessing his "Schutz-Passes" were allowed to walk away from groups being deported or tortured. Because of him, some of Marta's family members survive. The presence of Wallenberg is the strength of this book. A historical note at the end tells of his mysterious post-war disappearance and the possibility that he died in a Soviet prison. Although a novel, My Canary Yellow Star would be best used as part of a history curriculum or by readers who may be spurred on to further research. Category: Paperback Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2001, Tundra Books, dist. by McClelland & Stewart, 232p. illus., $6.95. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Rebecca Rabinowitz; V.H. Scholar, Child. Lit., Simmons College, Boston SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-In 1944, in Budapest, Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands of Jews from deportation to concentration camps by supplying them with Swedish passports. This novel is told from the perspective of Marta, a Jewish girl whose life is saved on several occasions by his intervention. Unfortunately, what could be a fascinating story about resistance to the Nazis becomes bogged down by too many subplots and underrealized supporting characters. Dialogue, rather than action, moves the plot, and Marta tells readers how she feels about the events around her, rather than reacting to them. The novel ends with the Soviet liberation of the city and a historical note details Wallenberg's exploits. An error in the historical note, however, states that Hungary was liberated in January 1944, not 1945. Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (Houghton, 1989) and Renee Roth-Hano's Touch Wood (Four Winds, 1988; o.p.) are more emotional and moving accounts of Jewish rescue from the Nazis.-Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887765339
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Eva Wiseman is herself from Hungary and has spent many years researching her book on Raoul Wallenberg. She is the author of A Place Not Home, selected to the New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teen Age List. She now makes her home in Winnipeg.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    I love the book

    I have read the sample and i loved it !!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    It was so real.

    I really loved this book. Marta's story broke my heart, even though the character wasn't real. Marta came alive to me when I read the book. All the pain and heartache that she felt, I felt too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Yellowstar bio

    A yellow tom that looks a little bit like a pikachu and can turn into a pikachu and doesnt have a mate (yes im single) and if you want to know any thing else then ask me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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