This first-person memoir helps students understand the Holocaust and its effects by chronicling the life of an individual who survived it.
Gr 6-9-Soumerai and her friend, writer Schulz, tell Soumerai's story in snapshots-literally and figuratively-as she moved from an idyllic early childhood as the beloved daughter of a close Jewish family in privileged Berlin to a frightened adolescent on the Kindertransport to an elderly woman seeking answers and spreading optimism. The story, told in four parts, is preceded by extensive introductory material, including a note to teachers, background information and a time line of Nazi history, and comments by the authors. Readers will get to know Soumerai's family through photos and vivid personal anecdotes and understand her reaction to being considered an "enemy alien" in England when war broke out. The sections written by Soumerai on her childhood are in the form of diary entries and are accompanied by small, black-and-white photos and reproductions of letters and documents. While many of them lack contrast, they are effective in giving a personal feeling to the book. Schulz's italicized chapters intersperse historical and contextual information throughout. Personal postscripts and extensive discussion questions and endnotes round out this memorable title.-Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.