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Hana's Suitcase Paperback – Aug 7 2002
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From School Library Journal
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is very well-written, and alternates chapters between Czechoslovakia in the 1930s and early 1940s, Tokyo in the year 2000 - early 2001, and Toronto in the year 2000 - early 2001. Sprinkled liberally throughout the book are many photographs, mostly of Hana and George Brady and their family before the war, but also of Fumiko and the group of Japanese children from her Centre that call themselves Small Wings.
Having read the book, I looked online for further information, and found a beautiful website run by the Brady family, devoted to the story of Hana and her suitcase: [...] .Read more ›
Children will enjoy the simultanous stories, which are easy to follow. Teachers or parents will love to see their children watching Fumiko at work, bringing alive the real work of historians, and bringing little Hana's legacy to life. Inclusion of Hana's drawings made in the Terazin ghetto, as well as photographs of Hana and her family in Czechosolvakia, and photos of Fumiko and her children's group, give the book something extra special. Over 60,000 people have seen the museum exhibit that inspired the book, and I'm sure that it will be millions once this book is *truly* discovered!
The book is written for children in Junior grades (4 - 6), but the story is gripping, well told and impossible to put down or forget.
Recently the docudrama has been released in DVD and is available at amazon. It also should be viewed by everyone.
Let us never forget so history doesn't repeat the horrors of the holocaust.
A clear, simple narrative delivers a vivid picture of what happened. It was touching to see the dedication and interest of the children and of Ms. Ishioka to find out as much information as possible with just a name to start with. Well done.
I believe that this book is also suitable to readers aged 12+.
Most recent customer reviews
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 10 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
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