Books for International Holocaust Remembrance Day
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed on January 27th—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—to commemorate the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, and the heroism of survivors and rescuers. Here is a collection of books you can share with young readers for International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
The Girl Who Sang: A Holocaust Memoir of Hope and Survival by Estelle Nadel with Bethany Strout; illustrated by Sammy Savos
A heartrending graphic memoir about a young Jewish girl’s fight for survival in Nazi occupied Poland, The Girl Who Sang illustrates the power of a brother’s love, the kindness of strangers, and finding hope when facing the unimaginable.
Born to a Jewish family in a small Polish village, Estelle Nadel—then known as Enia Feld—was just seven years old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. Once a vibrant child with a song for every occasion, Estelle would eventually lose her voice as, over the coming years, she would survive the deaths of their mother, father, their eldest brother and sister, and countless others.
A child at the mercy of her neighbors during a terrifying time in history, The Girl Who Sang is an enthralling first-hand account of Estelle’s fight for survival during World War II. She would weather loss, betrayal, near-execution, and spend two years away from the warmth of the sun—all before the age of eleven. And once the war was over, Estelle would walk barefoot across European borders and find remnants of home in an Austrian displaced persons camp before finally crossing the Atlantic to arrive in New York City—a young woman carrying the unseen scars of war.
Beautifully rendered in bright hues with expressive, emotional characters, debut illustrator Sammy Savos masterfully brings Estelle story of survival during the Holocaust to a whole new generation of readers. The Girl Who Sang is perfect for fans of March, Maus, and Anne Frank’s Diary.
★ “Told in five parts, Nadel’s story presents readers with a picture of her life before (“I thought we would be this happy forever”), during, and—crucially—after the war. Savos’ exceptionally powerful illustrations convey the extremes of human emotion, make original use of different perspectives, and are both cinematic and intimate; they also do not shy away from accurately portraying the hardships and violence. Sweeping, stark, tragic, and triumphant.“—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “An excellent accompaniment to lessons on World War II, this book will help countless students examine the Holocaust on a personal level. A must-have. The graphic novel format will appeal to those whose first choice might not be history or biography, and all others will be invited to consider the full-life experiences of Holocaust survivors.”—School Library Journal, starred review
Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Europe by Steve Sheinkin
From three-time National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor author Steve Sheinkin, a true story of two Jewish teenagers racing against time during the Holocaust—one in hiding in Hungary, and the other in Auschwitz, plotting escape.
★ Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor Book
★ SIX starred reviews
The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel by Antonio Iturbe; adapted by Salva Rubio and illustrated by Loreto Aroca; translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this graphic novel tells the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe; translated by Lilit Thwaites
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
★ Sydney Taylor Award Winner
★ SIX starred reviews
28 Days: A Novel of Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto by David Safier
Warsaw, 1942. Sixteen-year old Mira smuggles food into the Ghetto to keep herself and her family alive. When she discovers that the entire Ghetto is to be “liquidated”—killed or “resettled” to concentration camps—she desperately tries to find a way to save her family. She meets a group of young people who are planning the unthinkable: an uprising against the occupying forces. Mira joins the resistance fighters who, with minimal supplies and weapons, end up holding out for twenty-eight days, longer than anyone had thought possible. Based on true events.
★ “[A] complex novel, rich in evocative detail.”—Booklist, starred review
Chance: Escape from the Holocaust by Uri Shulevitz
On Sale August 25, 2020
From a beloved voice in children’s literature comes this landmark memoir of hope amid harrowing times and an engaging and unusual Holocaust story.
Uri Shulevitz won the Caldecott Medal for The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, written by Arthur Ransome, and three Caldecott Honors for The Treasure, Snow, and How I Learned Geography.
Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West
The true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight. A first person narrative, written by author Planaria Price and Helen Reichmann West, Barbara’s daughter. Includes maps and photographs.
“A searing personal account full of unforgettable details.” —The Jewish Book Council
It Rained Warm Bread: Moishe Moskowitz’s Story of Hope by Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet and Hope Anita Smith; illustrations by Lea Lyon
A powerful middle grade novel-in-verse about one boy’s experience surviving the Holocaust. Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet relates her father’s triumphant Holocaust story through the words of award-winning poet Hope Anita Smith. Deftly articulated and beautifully illustrated by Lea Lyon, this is an essential addition to the ever-important collection of Holocaust testimonies.
★ A Parents Choice Magazine Gold Award Winner
★ A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
★ An NCTE Notable Verse Novel
★ An ALSC Notable Children’s Book
★ An ALA Notable Book for Young Readers
★ A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz by Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
The New York Times-bestselling incredible true story of Michael Bornstein—who at age 4 was one of the youngest children to be liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp—and of his family.
“Both moving and memorable, combining the emotional resolve of a memoir with the rhythm of a novel.” —New York Times Book Review
★ A New York City Public Library Notable Best Book for Teens