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Monthly Archives: June 2010

A Hidden Life

Here’s another one about life long after the Holocaust, but living in its shadow.  Mrs. Reiss wrote the young adult novel The Upstairs Room about her experience hiding in a Dutch farmhouse for over 2 years.  This book takes place in 1969, when she returns — with her small children — to Holland for 7 […]

After the Smoke Cleared

This is a follow-up to Mr. Kuper’s book Child of the Holocaust, his account of being left to survive alone at age 9 in Nazi Poland.  Strangely, I found this book — the story of his adult life in Canada and his reunion with his father who also survived — more harrowing than his first.  […]

Everything is Illuminated

Beautifully shot, beautifully acted.  Liev Schriber’s screenplay and direction of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel about a Jewish-American college student of the same name who travels to Ukraine to unearth his family’s history during the Holocaust.  Weird combo of gorgeous drama, indie-film comedy, and some magical realism.  I loved it.

Prisoner In Time: A Child of the Holocaust

Ms. Melnikoff weaves a fiction of 12-year old Czech Jew Jan who finds himself living in both 1942 and 1589.  I appreciated the picture of life in a 16th century Jewish ghetto and learned that those Jews wore yellow circles as identification, which makes Hilter’s use of the yellow star more sinister than I already […]


Definitely one of the bleakest, most excruciating books I’ve yet read on this subject.  Naomi Samson hides with her mother, brother, sister, and another Jew in the crawl space under a Polish Gentile neighbor’s barn.  FOR TWO YEARS.    They subsist on 2 potatoes a day, delivered along with rants and threats from their petrified and […]

The Upstairs Room

Johanna Reiss was a Dutch Jew hidden by Gentile farmers during the war.  This book began as a way to record her experiences for her two daughters.  It won a Newberry.  Go girl.  It would be a great book for discussing the Holocaust with your children.  Ben keeps saying “Mom, please stop talking about the […]