The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs

The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs

The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs

The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs


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A moving biography of the woman who created The Tower of Faces, a powerful exhibit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Sydney Taylor Book Award (Gold Medal)

A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

★ “…There are many picture books about the Holocaust, but this one stands out with Gal’s beautiful watercolor pictures and the true account of one woman’s goal that her community never be forgotten. A beautiful tribute….Highly recommended.” — School Library Journal, starred review

★ “A stunning tale . . . . bursting with detail and life. . . . A magnificent and moving tribute to a loving community and an extraordinary woman.” — Booklist, starred review

★ “A powerful tribute….Moving.” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

★ “An affirming tribute to a Jewish past that was lost in the Holocaust as well as to one survivor’s work.” — The Horn Book, starred review

“ …A loving testament to light and hope and the vision of a remarkable woman.” — Kirkus Reviews

“…the book’s mes­sage is con­sis­tent­ly opti­mistic... Stiefel paints a truth­ful por­trait appro­pri­ate for those just begin­ning to learn about the Holocaust….Gal’s artwork…is dramatic and accessible…a book that ensures [Eliach and her town] will not be forgotten.” — Jewish Book Council

There once was a girl named Yaffa. She loved her family, her home, and her beautiful Polish town that brimmed with light and laughter. She also loved helping her Grandma Alte in her photography studio. There, shopkeepers, brides, babies, and bar mitzvah boys posed while Grandma Alte captured their most joyous moments on film. And before the Jewish New Year, they sent their precious photographs to relatives overseas with wishes for good health and happiness.

But one dark day, Nazi soldiers invaded the town. Nearly 3,500 Jewish souls — including family, friends, and neighbors of Yaffa — were erased.

This is the stunning true story of how Yaffa made it her life’s mission to recover thousands of her town’s photographs from around the world. Using these photos, she built her amazing TOWER OF FACES, a permanent exhibit in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, to restore the soaring spirit of Eishyshok.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338225891
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/04/2022
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 249,331
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 6 - 8 Years

About the Author

Chana Stiefel is the award-winning author of more than 30 humorous and heartfelt books for children. Her nonfiction books include THE TOWER OF LIFE, the true story of Holocaust survivor and historian Yaffa Eliach, who created the Tower of Faces at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (a Junior Libary Guild Gold Medal Selection, Scholastic); LET LIBERTY RISE: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty (a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, Scholastic, 2021); and ANIMAL ZOMBIES & OTHER REAL-LIFE MONSTERS (a Top 10 YALSA Quick Pick, NatGeoKids). Chana’s funny fictional picture books include MENDEL’S HANUKKAH MESS UP (Kalaniot), MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH (HMH), and DADDY DEPOT (Feiwel & Friends). She loves to visit schools and libraries to share her passion for reading and writing with children.

After completing her BFA at Art Center College of Design, Susan Gal began her illustration career as a poster and calendar artist. She is an award-winning illustrator of several picture books, including Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail by Lesléa Newman, winner of both the Sydney Taylor Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award, and The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories And Photographs by Chana Stiefel, recipient of the Sydney Taylor Book Award and Robert F. Sibert Honor. Susan lives with her husband in Berkeley, California where she creates fun and whimsical illustrations while attempting to live a caffeine and nuclear-free life. Visit her at

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