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T4: A Novel [Hardcover]

Ann Clare LeZotte
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 22 2008
It is 1939. Paula Becker, thirteen years old and deaf, lives with her family in a rural German town. As rumors swirl of disabled children quietly disappearing, a priest comes to her family’s door with an offer to shield Paula from an uncertain fate. When the sanctuary he offers is fleeting, Paula needs to call upon all her strength to stay one step ahead of the Nazis.

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"This free verse historical-fiction account is as gripping and moving as any Holocaust story and would be a rich addition to any World War II study."—Winston Salem Journal

"A gentle retelling of a horrific situation. . . . A great addition to the cannon of WWII YA literature, helping readers to understand how being different at this time was a dangerous thing."—KLIATT

"In her powerful debut novel, LeZotte, who is deaf, tells the story from the viewpoint of one young girl, who speaks in spare, lyrical, intense free verse that blends her personal experience with the historical facts and an additional adult perspective that looks back."—Booklist

"LeZotte’s use of free verse offers a lyrical, flowing story of yet another aspect of this historic tragedy. As a deaf person herself, she is able to delve deep into the main character’s feelings as a disabled person, adding another layer to this moving account."—Advocate News, Baton Rouge, Lousiana

"This short yet stirring read accompanied by additional notes at the back of the book would be a rich addition to any Holocaust study unit."--Jewish Book World

"T4 exposes the darkness of the time while capturing the wonder and hope of one girl's survival."—About Our Children

"I found that I couldn't put this book down. It was so amazing. . . [it’s] really rich in detail and is a great story."—FlamingNet.com, student review

"A poetic book that simply and powerfully examines the injustices of the Nazis during World War II."—Holly Newton, Newton's Book Notes

About the Author

Ann Clare LeZotte is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and she has had her poems published in the American Poetry Review, the New Republic, and the Threepenny Review. She lives in Gainesville, Florida. She is completely deaf.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Dec 30 2008
Everyone knows about the Holocaust, but not many people know much about Action T4.

T4 was a program Hitler used to sterilize and/or kill thousands of Jews with disabilities. People like Paula Becker, a deaf girl, were forced into hiding to save their lives. In her free verse poetry, Paula talks about hiding and running from Hitler and the T4 doctors.

This book was captivating. Before reading it I had never heard of Action T4. It was amazing to read a story through the eyes of a young girl as she is forced to leave her parents and go into hiding.

This was a short, easy read that anyone would appreciate.

Reviewed by: Emily Ann
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuis Shines Through July 28 2008
By R. Crane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
T4 refers to the program the Nazis instigated to rid the world of undesirable people, and specifically, in T4, the Disabled. While much has been written about many other Nazi atrocities, very little attention has been paid to this horror.

The author presents a very short novel in verse. It is a powerful tool and the length of the book in no way minimizes its impact. It takes no more than an hour to read, but the memory could last forever.

The book, T4, is named after the address, Tiergartenstrasse 4, which headquartered the infamous organization of this Nazi program. The historical facts of T4 are true, though the characters and story are fiction. The author, deaf herself, relates the story of a deaf child born in Pre-Nazi Germany who goes into hiding to escape being persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. Along the way she recounts the lives of people she meets and their impact on her. Ultimately she meets someone whom she eventually happily marries who is also a potential victim of the Nazis.

The book is beautifully written. It is simple and yet profound. Highly recommended.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Elegant and Simple Prose July 30 2008
By Busy Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book in the mail yesterday, but it is definitely a keeper. I have always been interested in reading about World War II, the Holocaust and more. This book reminds me of what happened to the "undesirables," the "unwanted" and the "disabled;" all vile words in my personal language.

This book is written for youth age 10-14, but it is a wonderful book for adults to read too. It is about Paula, a young deaf girl who was forced into hiding when the Germans decided to "end the sufferings" of those they deemed unfit to be part of the master race. Paula was squired away to a village where she stayed with a woman who taught her sign language, till someone found out that Paula was there and Paula was once again on the run. Separated from her family, Paula endured the war till she was able to go home again.

Written very simply, with elegance and prose, this book will take you on a short but powerful journey of images and emotions. If your child is becoming interested in the Holocaust, this would be a good book to start.

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Gentle way for children to learn of one aspect of the Holocaust. July 21 2008
By kindred spirit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I read every Holocaust survial story I can get my hands on. I believe that honors the living and those millions who died.

This is a very unique way to present the aspect of Hitler's Hate of the disabled to children. It is written like a long poem. It goes very quickly and the rhythm keeps you reading the book in one short sitting.

Paula is deaf. She is otherwise a happy and beautiful girl. Hitler has decided that the disabled should die they are consuming food needed for his "Aryan" race. The progrom to get rid of them is called T4. That was a new term to me. Named after the building where the doctors who carried out these murders worked.

Paula is lucky she got hidden. Paula got to tell her story. I will not tell you how it ends, just to say she was a very lucky girl. The story tells the truth but is not too grusome for 9-12 yr olds. These stories need to be told over and over again to all.

Ann LeZotte has created a children's classic in this poem that teaches and reminds us that all of God's children are the same, important, sacred. It teaches children that being different is okay and no one should be treated badly because of a disability.

I highly recommend this book. Parents read it with your children and talk about it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt poetic tribute to life July 28 2008
By T. Gaston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Having read numerous holocaust stories over the years, the first in elementary school, I'm very pleased to see an author target the younger readers....lest we forget and see history repeat itself. The interspersing of historical fact within the framework of the fictional character's (Paula) experience was excellent. It was easy to identify with Paula's fears and the courage of her youth. The story is touching and moved me to tears.

Lastly, and this is the best part, while initially finding the poetic style (my first reading of a poetic novel) a bit difficult to follow, I soon fell into the rhythm and actually enjoyed the pace and tempo the author set.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating Lives July 30 2008
By JMack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
While much of the literature involving Nazi executions during World War II involves the six million murdered Jews, other groups were targeted. Tiergartenstrasse 4 or T4, was the headquarters in which people labeled as "mentally ill" or "disabled" were put to death. Telling her fictional account through the eyes of thirteen year old Paula Becker, Ann Clare LeZotte is commendable in her storytelling as she tells the story through poetry.

While the story is engaging, I feel somewhat disappointed that the story is not longer. Though the reader is only given the most basic details, the very words on the page paint a vivid image of a frightened child who is forced to leave her family to hide from the Nazis. The novel approach taken by the author is a positive reflection of her talent. Readers will even enjoy a few pleasant surprises as they journey through the book while becoming more knowledgable about the crimes committed by the Nazis.

Though the book is targeted toward the young adult category, adults may find the story enlightening and even touching. As somebody that works with persons with disabilities, I give this book my full professional endorsement.
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