Holocaust Memorial Day Booklists for Children

In Support of Holocaust Memorial Day January 27, 2017 all Wokingham Borough Libraries will have materials on display along with information booklets and books to borrow from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.      

 Booklists have been created and a wealth of information is available to use on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website, http://hmd.org.uk/page/resources-your-activity

Suggested Book Titles for Children aged 5 to 8

And Tango makes three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

And Tango Makes Three is a true story for primary students about two penguins called Roy and Silo.  They lived with lots of other penguins in a special enclosure in Central Park Zoo, New York.  Roy and Silo were both boys.  They played together, swam together and built a nest together.  When other penguin couples hatched eggs and raised chicks, Roy and Silo placed an egg-shaped rock in their nest and kept it warm.  One day the penguin keeper noticed what they were doing and placed a real egg in their nest.  Roy and Silo care for the egg and soon baby Tango completes their penguin family.   – See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/and-tango-makes-three-justin-richardson-and-peter-parnell#sthash.P7WXVvPR.dpuf

Susan Laughs by Jeanne Wilson and Tony Ross

This is a picture book for foundation and key stage one students. It is a happy book for children inviting them to share a day in the life of Susan.  There is very little text, sometimes only two words to a page.  We read that Susan laughs, she splashes, she swings on her swing.  There are lots of pictures of Susan enjoying life with her family and friends.  Young children will enjoy sharing her laughter.  The final sentence is ‘This is Susan through and through, just like me and just like you.’  On the last page is a picture of laughing Susan sitting in her wheelchair. As the story is so simple there is no need for formal questions for discussion.  Teachers are encouraged to use the book with young children to focus on the joy of being an individual child.  An important part of HMD’s 21st century message is recognising differences and valuing individual people.  See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/susan-laughs-jeanne-wilson-and-tony-ross#sthash.nQMoSdqs.dpuf

The Colour of Home – Mary Hoffman and Karin Littlewood

Hassan joins a new school.  He is very sad and does not say very much. He paints a picture of his pet cat and his old house.  Slowly, through the picture, his teacher and classmates begin to understand his story and why he must try to build a new life a long way fromhome.  Some things to think about with primary students. – See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/colour-home-mary-hoffman-and-karin-littlewood#sthash.mPvDQKrm.dpuf

Suggested Book Titles for Children aged 9 to 12 years old

Hitler’s Canary by Sandi Toksvig

Hitler’s Canary is based on the experiences of Sandi Toksvig’s father and the stories he used to tell her as she was growing up.  It is the tale of Bamse, a nine-year-old boy who lives in Copenhagen with his famous actress mother, set designing father, and older brother and sister.  It is the night of an after-show party at the Royal Copenhagen Theatre and Bamse wakes up as the Nazis are invading Denmark. Told through the eyes of Bamse we see how the Danes react to occupation – including making fun of the Nazi soldiers, and in some cases, befriending them. Finally, as the order is given to round up all of Denmark’s Jews, the family plays a key role in helping to hide and save the Jewish population. Bamse’s mother makes a huge sacrifice, playing the role of her life, which helps to hide Anton and his family, and could have led to her own arrest should it have gone wrong.  – See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/hitlers-canary-sandi-torsvig#sthash.UdZAScX8.dpuf

The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman

In this book the illustrations and the words are equally important.  The author and illustrator worked together after hearing that in many of the death camps the Nazis selected Jewish prisoners and forced them to play in orchestras.  Modern day junior reporter Lesley travels to Venice to interview a famous violinist.  She is instructed to find out all she can about the musician’s career but she also discovers that the interview will be terminated if she asks a particular question: ‘the Mozart question.’ The book is challenging for younger readers both in content and language but with guidance from their teacher ten and eleven year olds should gain much from discussing both story and artwork.

– See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/mozart-question-michael-morpurgo-and-michael-foreman#sthash.8fluzKoh.dpuf

Once, Then and Now by Morris Gleitzman

Once is dedicated to ‘all the children whose stories have never been told.’  It is 1942 and Felix is weary of living in an orphanage.  He explains how ‘once’ he almost caused a riot because of a carrot, got confused when people made bonfires of books, escaped from the orphanage to find his Mum and Dad, saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house, made a Nazi with toothache laugh and jumped off a moving train into a Polish field.   It is a story of courage and of a desperate attempt to stay hopeful and look towards the future.  The ending will encourage students and teachers to reach for the sequel Then. Now is set in Australia in 2009, a year of devastating bush fires in Victoria.  These fires form a backdrop to the story of Zelda, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor.  Zelda knows she has been named after one of her grandfather’s childhood friends.  She knows that the first Zelda was an important part of his life because he has treasured her heart shaped locket for over 70 years.  It’s the only possession of hers which he has left. –  See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/once-morris-gleitzman#sthash.IRGazjH0.dpuf 

Put Out the Light by Terry Deary

The book is split between two groups of children, Sally and Billy Thomas in Sheffield, England and Manfred and Hansl in Dachau, Germany during World War Two.  In England, Sally and Billy are investigating the mysterious case of the ‘Blackout Burglar’ who is stealing money whilst the neighbourhood seeks refuge in the community shelters.  Telling the story from their perspective, we find out about tiny rations of meat, the black market and the problems caused by ‘phony’ air raid warnings. Manfred’s story begins in Dachau.  His class have been given the opportunity to talk to his brother Ernst, a member of the Luftwaffe, and they ask him what it is like to fly a plane.  The book helps us to imagine what life might have been like at the beginning of the war in both countries for children, as well as being a thrilling adventure tale.

– See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/put-out-light-terry-deary#sthash.Fu3DX8VX.dpuf

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Bruno is unhappy when his Father is given an important new posting far away from Berlin.  It means that he will have to move from his familiar, comfortable home and part from his friends.  At nine years old, Bruno, like most German children, is unaware of the atrocities being committed by the Nazis.  All he knows is that his father works for a person Bruno thinks is called ‘The Fury’.  The new family home is a grim place.  There are no young people to join in Bruno’s games and he is not encouraged to ask questions.  Bruno is lonely.  Then, by chance, he meets Shmuel, a boy who shares his birthday but lives in shadow, on the other side of a barbed wire fence. – See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/boy-striped-pyjamas-john-boyne#sthash.4qnc3wf5.dpuf

The Silver Sword – Ian Serraillier

Ian Serraillier began to write The Silver Sword in 1951, a mere six years after the end of World War Two.  It took five years to research and complete.  Although the characters Serraillier brought to life were fictitious, the story was created from historical fact and the young heroes Ruth, Edek, Bronia and Jan were based on real children found in records compiled by the Red Cross.  The Silver Sword is the story of four Polish siblings and their experience of the war and its aftermath.  When their father, the head teacher of a Polish primary school, turned a portrait of Hitler to the wall, the Nazis found out and the family was thrown into a nightmare scenario.  With the arrest of both parents Ruth, Edek and Bronia face great hardship and struggle to survive in the chaos of Nazi occupied Warsaw.  Then they meet Jan, a streetwise boy whose most precious possession is a silver paperknife in the shape of a sword; a paperknife which once belonged to their father.  With this silver sword as a talisman of hope the four young people set out on a journey from Poland to Switzerland in an attempt to meet up with their missing parents. – See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/resources/books-for-youngs/silver-sword-ian-serraillier#sthash.MPwgdKvo.dpuf

All of the recommended titles can be borrowed from Wokingham Borough Libraries https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk  or visit www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

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