Inspired by a true story, My Mother’s Secret is a captivating and ultimately uplifting tale intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis, a fleeing German soldier, and the mother and daughter who save them all. Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are simple, ordinary people...until 1939, when the Nazis invade their homeland. Providing shelter to Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland is a death sentence, but Franciszka and Helena do exactly that. In their tiny home in Sokal, they hide a Jewish family in a loft above their pigsty, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen, and a defecting German soldier in the attic—each party completely unknown to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commander. Told simply and succinctly from four different perspectives—all under one roof—My Mother’s Secret is a testament to the kindness, courage, and generosity of ordinary people who chose to be extraordinary.
Franciszka and her daughter are unlikely heroines. They are simple people who don't stand out ... that is, until there is a crisis. In 1939, the Nazis come to Poland and start to persecute the Jews. These are unreasonable times when providing shelter to a Jew has become a death sentence. Despite this, both Franciszka and her daughter hide Jewish families and a German soldier in their small home. For all of them to survive, she will have to outsmart the German commander and her neighbors. When you look at a piece of steel, can you tell whether it is the ordinary kind used to make forks and knives or whether it is the superstrength type used to construct bridges and high-rises? The honest answer is no. You cannot tell until you apply extreme pressure. People are like that. This story is a reminder that there are no profiles for courage and character, and that who we become is always a personal choice. This is my first book, but it feels like something that has been waiting for me for a while. I just had to be still enough to hear it. As the words flowed and formed, shaping ideas in their dance, it felt divine. Writing was a process far more intimate than I could have predicted. To be authentic and honest, it is your own life that you draw upon and so, telling a story reveals the truths that reside in your own heart. I loved creating this story. To be able to say that anything is possible if we connect with each other through kindness, understanding, and courage -and to do it with reference to true events-well, that was exhilarating. If this story somehow manages to touch you, if it somehow manages to remind you of your own humanity, then I will be incredibly happy. Living with gratitude, J. L. Witterick [email protected] www.mymotherssecret.com
The Holocaust is an atrocity of such overwhelming magnitude and depravity that it must never be forgotten yet can scarcely be comprehended. The sheer horror of it can often make it seem unreal to contemporary eyes. The primary-source images, firsthand accounts, meticulous timeline, and transcripts of speeches and testimony associated with the Nuremberg Trials and the Nazi crimes they prosecuted are found here, grounding the horror in undeniable, irrefutable reality. Taken together, they help ensure for a new generation that the Holocaust will never be forgotten, never be denied, and never be repeated.
With the explosion in YA publishing, it’s harder than ever to separate good books from the rest. Booklistmagazine’s editors’ deep and broad knowledge of the landscape offers indispensable guidance, and here they bring together the very best of the best books for young adults published since the start of the 21st century. Drawing on the careful judgment of expert YA librarians, this book Includes a foreword by best-selling YA lit authority Michael Cart, who demonstrates how we have entered a new golden age of books for young adults Collects reviews which showcase the most stimulating contemporary YA titles Features an essay in each section, grouped by genre, presenting an overview and examining relevant trends Indexes selections by author, title, and genre for handy reference The thoughtful professional review coverage for which ALA’s Booklist is known makes this volume an ideal tool for YA readers’ advisory and collection development.
For Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, every day brings new dangers. So when Odette's father is thrown into a work camp and the Nazis suspect her mother of helping the Resistance, Odette is sent to the French countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, Odette leads the life of a regular girl, going to school, doing chores, even attending Catholic masses with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets for the life she left behind, and the identity she must hide at all costs. Yet when the war ends, the cost of keeping secrets takes an unexpected toll: can Odette return to Paris as a Jew, or has she changed too much? Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyer, this moving free-verse novel is a story of triumph over adversity.
For years the author told stories about his experiences during World War II in Holland, and his children and grandchildren always urged him to write a book about those difficult times. His parents were actively taking care of Jews, and this work is the byproduct of their stories, anecdotes, and the authors memories. (Social Issues)
The heart-breaking Sunday Times bestseller based on the incredible true story of Dita Kraus
Author: Antonio Iturbe
Pubpsher: Random House
For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice: this is the story of the smallest library in the world – and the most dangerous. 'It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns...’ Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ - prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp. But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor... The Sunday Times bestseller for readers of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice. Based on the incredible and moving true story of Dita Kraus, holocaust survivor and secret librarian for the children's block in Auschwitz.
When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis' grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada's history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.
Thirteen-year-old Jakob's family has hidden their true identity as Jews and are living as Catholics in Budapest during WWII. One day, in a burst of loyalty, Jakob decides to reveal that he is Jewish, a choice that puts his whole family in danger. Jakob hopes his best friend Ivan, a Christian whose father is a high-ranking military official, will help his family, but he comes to believe that Ivan has abandoned them. Sent as a prisoner to Auschwitz, Jakob is kept alive by his passion for revenge against Ivan. When Jakob is finally freed, he discovers that Ivan too made a choice that day, a choice that changes everything Jakob thought was true.
Based on real events and real characters! It is the middle of World War II, and Gabi and her mother have been lucky so far, eluding the grasp of Nazi soldiers who are sending Jewish people away to unknown fates. But she, her mother and her young cousin, Max, realize that they will never be safe in their town. With the help of a trusted friend, a kind-hearted priest and a poor yet brave farming family, they go into hiding in a tiny mountain village. It takes great willpower and patience to endure months of fear in their cramped hiding space at the back of a barn. But one night, Gabi and Max can't stand the confinement any longer, and they sneak out for the first of many secret nighttime walks. Deep in the forest, the children make a discovery that turns out to be very useful to the anti-Nazi partisan soldiers camped out nearby. Through their new roles as scouts for the partisans, Gabi and Max find strength and courage, and a renewed sense of hope in dark times.