We Are Their Voice: Young People Respond to the Holocaust

Overview

That's the question that prompted a writing project across North America, Italy and Australia asking young people to write about this time in history. Students wrote short stories. Some read novels and wrote about the messages that they understood from these books. Several interviewed survivors and recorded their impressions. Many talked about this history and how they have tried to make sense of it in the world in which they now live. Children wrote from their hearts with sensitivity, thoughtfulness and great ...
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We Are Their Voice: Young People Respond to the Holocaust

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Overview

That's the question that prompted a writing project across North America, Italy and Australia asking young people to write about this time in history. Students wrote short stories. Some read novels and wrote about the messages that they understood from these books. Several interviewed survivors and recorded their impressions. Many talked about this history and how they have tried to make sense of it in the world in which they now live. Children wrote from their hearts with sensitivity, thoughtfulness and great insight. Their teachers saw this opportunity as a gift. Young people can make a meaningful connection to the Holocaust. And perhaps, with that in mind, they will be able to create a more peaceful future. Read their stories. Listen to their perceptions and observations. We have so much to learn from them.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This volume is a compilation of student entries in which young writers examine the meaning of the Holocaust. The submissions—essays, journal and diary entries, artwork, and poems—are primarily written by Canadian students. The writing's quality varies from excellent to pedestrian. The mission, to bring an awareness of the seventy-year-old Shoah and its victims, is worthy and the book should be considered in that light. Most students created stories that imagined a character as a prisoner, hidden child, or person on the run from the Nazis. These are the least successful pieces. The diary entries are, of course, influenced by Anne Frank and, while no one addresses the journal as "Kitty," it is clear where the geneses of these pieces are. The "original" stories are clearly adolescent imaginings. One diary entry, supposedly written in a concentration camp, misses the point that there would be no paper or pen to keep an extensive camp diary, and the writer would be murdered for his efforts. The most successful writing is done by children who have grandparents who are survivors and, perhaps, these are also the most important works in the book. The "generation to generation" nature of grandchildren telling the real survivors' stories is the very meaning of being the "voice" for the victims. Another noteworthy piece, entitled If Only, is a letter to Anne Frank in which the eighth grade author explains that, despite Anne's optimism, little has changed in the world and people still hate and kill based on difference. The principle value of this book will be as an example for classroom projects. The letter to Anne Frank is a discussion starter. However, for young people to really understand the Holocaust, they need to return to testimonies and well-researched books. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Useful to both students and educators alike, this volume is a compilation of present-day students' responses to the Holocaust. It includes imagined diary entries, reflections on archival photographs, artwork by students, letters to relevant figures such as Anne Frank, and, finally, the retelling of stories told by Holocaust survivors. These original student works are organized by topic, such as Hope. Each chapter is framed by an informative introduction that delivers context while also providing factual anecdotes. At times, the students' writings become historically impossible, but excellent editing points out the anachronisms and allows the synthesis of the time to be interesting rather than distracting. Finally, a glossary and reference list are easily accessible and provide fluid recommendations for further reading. This is an innovative way to have young people process and respond to historical events.—Maura Bisogni, Pratt Institute, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781926920771
  • Publisher: Second Story Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 961,519
  • Age range: 11 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her books about the holocaust for young readers, including Hiding Edith, The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser, Clara’s War and The Underground Reporters. A former psychologist, Kathy tours North America speaking to young people about the importance of remembering the Holocaust.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Foreword 4

What is Happening to Us? 7

Can We Stay Together? 23

Where Will We Hide? 40

The Fear Is Overwhelming! 50

The Goodness of Some 61

Hot Everyone Is Willing to Help 85

How Will We Ever Survive? 99

It Gomes Down to Luck 117

We Have to Have Hope 127

Looking for Justice 151

Fighting Back 166

We Are Their Voice 174

Putting Words into Actions 195

Glossary 211

References 222

Members of the Panel 225

Participating Schools 229

Acknowledgments 231

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