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Classroom Picks . . . Holocaust Remembrance Day.

These powerful stories belong on every library shelf. Each offer detailed and reflective insight of the Holocaust.

This Month's Picks


The Anne Frank Case
Simon Wiesenthal's Search for the Truth
by Susan Goldman Rubin
Bill Farnsworth, Illustrator

Grades: FIFTH

CCSS

Available in paperback!

This inspiring and suspenseful account of Simon Wiesenthal's search for the Gestapo officer who arrested Anne Frank and her family testifies to the difference that one man's dedication can make.

In October 1958 renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal received a disturbing phone call at his home in Linz, Austria. He rushed to the Landes Theater, where a group of teenagers were disrupting a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank. Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, had made it his life work to ensure that Anne Frank and others who had died in the Holocaust were not forgotten. He was deeply concerned that many local teenagers seemed to agree with the neo-Nazi protesters that Anne's diary was a hoax. Determined to find definitive proof that the diary was authentic, Wiesenthal began a five-year-long search for the Gestapo officer who arrested the Frank family.

"Anne Frank . . . is just the hook to draw readers into this picture-book biography of a famous Holocaust survivor. [Readers] will be thrilled by this account."—Booklist (starred review)

"This book is highly recommended."—School Library Journal



Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto
by Susan Goldman Rubin
Bill Farnsworth, Illustrator

Grades: THIRD

CCSS
4: L.4, RI.2, RI.4 5: RI.2, RI.4, RI.6, RI.7, RI.8, RI.9, RL.7, W.1, W.2 6: RL.2, RL.7, RL.9, W.2, W.7

1. Irena Sendler was quoted by saying, I was taught by my father that when someone is drowning, you don’t ask if they can swim, you just jump in and help. Write an essay on Irena Sendler and how she lived by these words of her father. RI.5.1/W.5.2

2. Plan and create a presentation on Irena Sendler as a heroine. Include her beliefs, hopes, dreams, ideals, values, fears, strengths, weaknesses, talents. How does she conduct herself? What contribution has she made to society? SL.5.1, 4, 5, 6/W.5.9

3. Discuss the different conflicts from the book including what people, forces, ideas, institutions and values oppose each other. SL.5.1

4. Create a time line of important events throughout the book. RI.5.1,5

Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto is back in print!

Irena Sendler was a diminutive Polish social worker who helped spirit more than four hundred children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.

Using toolboxes, ambulances, and other ingenious measures, Irena Sendler defied the Nazis and risked her own life by saving and then hiding Jewish children. Her secret list of the children's real identities was kept safe, buried in two jars under a tree in war-torn Warsaw. An inspiring story of courage and compassion, this biography includes a list of resources, source notes, and an index.

★★★THE REVIEWS ARE IN!★★★

★“Arresting oil paintings pair with vivid prose to tell the story of a Polish social worker who concealed Jewish children from the Nazis . . . a haunting and unflinching portrait of human valiance.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★“A moving tribute to a courageous woman.”―Booklist, starred review




The Grand Mosque of Paris
A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust
by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix
Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix, Illustrator

Grades: FOURTH

CCSS

Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched, this compelling book reveals the almost unknown story of how French Muslims' courage, faith, and devotion to justice saved the lives of so many Jews.

During the Nazi occupation of Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place-the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but also a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, including children.

The Grand Mosque of Paris is written and illustrated by both Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and recommended books and films.

"This well-researched book belongs on the shelves of most libraries."—School Library Journal

"This is a fascinating, little-known piece of history."—Booklist



The Safest Lie
by Angela Cerrito

Grades: FIFTH

CCSS
RL.7.1-4, 6, 9, 10
W.7.4, 6-9, 9a, 10
SL.7.1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 3-6
L.7.3, 4, 4a, 4c, 4d, 5, 5a, 5c, 6

1. How does the point of view contribute to the authenticity of the story? Research author Angela Cerrito and her inspiration, Irena Sendler, to explain. Discuss the impact that firsthand and secondhand accounts have on historical fiction. SL.9-12.1, 2, 4, 5, 6 / W.7-8.7, 8, 9

2. What feelings are evoked by the setting in THE SAFEST LIE? Explain how the author uses language to create atmosphere and how it contributes to the understanding of the story. RL.7-8.3 / L.7-8.3, 4, 5

3. What are the types of conflict? Write about how Anna is forced to deal with each conflict type and how Anna's doing so shapes both the plot and her as a person. RL.7-8.1, 2, 3 / W.7-8.4

4. How does reading about the past teach us about the present and future? Choose two novels that are based on the true events of the Holocaust and compare and contrast their approaches to themes, setting, characters and plot. SL.7-8.1, 4, 6 / W.7-8.7, 8, 9, 10

This powerful historical novel tells the story of a young girl who is smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto and struggles to both hide and hold on to her Jewish identity.

In 1940, nine-year-old Anna Bauman and her parents are among 300,000 Polish Jews struggling to survive the wretched conditions in the Warsaw ghetto. Anna draws the attention of Jolanta—the code name for the real-life Resistance spy Irena Sendler, who smuggled hundreds of children out of the ghetto. Jolanta wants to help Anna escape. Anna's mother drills her day and night, teaching her a new identity, that of Roman Catholic Anna Karwolska. Soon Anna is whisked out of Warsaw to a Catholic orphanage and then to a foster family.

Anna's story is a suspenseful and deeply moving account of the sacrifices endured, the dangers faced, and the heroism demonstrated by courageous young victims, their parents and their saviors. It sheds light on yet another tragedy of the Holocaust: rescued children who lost not only their loved ones, but their very identities and Jewish heritage.


BONUS MATERIALS

Read an exclusive Q&A with author, Angela Cerrito!

★★★THE REVIEWS ARE IN!★★★

"Full of feeling and insight, as well as fascinating detail, this novel is as much about the loss of identity as the loss of life. Give this to those history buffs ready for a powerful story less commonly told."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books