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Grade 4-7-Based on a Canadian Broadcasting radio documentary produced by Levine, this book tells the story of Hana Brady, a girl killed at Auschwitz, and how her suitcase came to be a part of the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center. A CD recording of the radio program is available and adds to the impact and power of the book. The story ends on a positive note by ultimately uniting Japanese schoolchildren fascinated by Hana's story with her brother George Brady, the only member of their immediate family to survive the war. The book alternates between past and present, one chapter telling the story of Hana's childhood in the Czechoslovakian resort town of Nove Mesto, and the next relating the experiences of Fumiko Ishioka, a teacher dedicated to educating the children of Japan about the horrors of the Holocaust. Black-and-white photographs of Hana and her family and Ms. Ishioka and her students accompany each chapter. As Hana's narrative draws her to Auschwitz and to the end of her life, Fumiko's story brings her closer to the solution of a puzzle that began with only a suitcase and a name. The narrative moves quickly, though the writing is often oversimplified. One can assume that direct quotes come from the memories of Hana's brother, George Brady, and Fumiko Ishioka, since they were the original narrators of the radio program, but there are no notes to that effect. Unfortunately, the stilted writing and lack of source notes mar an otherwise gripping story of a family's love and a teacher's dedication. An additional purchase for Holocaust collections.
Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 5-8. Not another heartbreaker about a child in the Holocaust. Yes, but this one has a new contemporary connection. Alternating chapters tell not only of the Jewish Hana Brady's deportation with her older brother, George, from their happy home in Czechoslovakia, first to Terezin, and then to Auschwitz (where Hana died); but also of Fumiko Ishioka, now a director of a newly established Holocaust education center in Tokyo, who acquires Hana's suitcase, pursues Hana's story, and brings it to today's Japanese children. The account, based on a radio documentary Levine did in Canada (a CD of the broadcast is included), is part history, part suspenseful mystery, and always anguished family drama, with an incredible climactic revelation. The facts are inescapable, illustrated with glowing family photos, Nazi official documents that show Hana's fate, and pictures she drew in the secret art classes in Terezin. The one false note is Levine's showing everything before the Nazis as totally idyllic, and all the victims (even in the camps) as always wise and loving. Recommend this with Linda Sue Park's When My Name Was Keoko (2002), about a Korean child under Japanese occupation during World War II. Winner of the 2002 Sydney Taylor Award for Older Readers. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bought this book for my ten year old daughter. She couldn't put it down. She loved it but said it was sad too. Would recommend.Published 7 months ago by Dallas
Excellent book. We are reading this in our Special Ed. class and the students find it very interesting. We are having an experience with a nonfiction novel.
I read this to my Grade 3/4 class - and then the author, Karen Levine, came to our school. They had lots of questions - I'm glad I helped open their eyes to how fortunate they are... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2010 by annie51
Even if the targeted audience is children, but this book is also much interesting for adults. It's so well written that you'll feel somebody is telling you this story lively. Read morePublished on June 17 2003 by Minnie
This book was so sad! It is about this suitcase that arrives to a Holocaust Center in Japan and the story behind the little girl who used own it. Read morePublished on March 18 2003
This book is AMAZING!!!!!
It tells you so much about life back then that I actully felt like iI was in it.This is such an emotional book it made me cry. Read more