Thursday, September 01, 2011
I've been looking for Holocaust memoirs which are appropriate for young kids; stories which aren't too graphic but which provide context and don't diminish the events we'll be studying this fall.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a novelized memoir by Judith Kerr. Because the protagonist's father was a well-known Jewish journalist and author at the time of Hitler's rise, her family fled Berlin for Switzerland in 1933. Though the Nazis got their possessions, they missed seizing her father's passport by one day. The book describes their flight across the border, their stay near Zurich, and their eventual resettlement in Paris and England.
The book powerfully evokes the refugee experience, but the Holocaust is barely mentioned. An uncle who remains in Berlin commits suicide because he is fired for having a Jewish grandmother. The family encounters antiSemitism a few times. The characters are likable, interesting, and their experience provides good potential personal connections for inner-city youth. I think some of my more advanced readers might enjoy this as an independent reading text or resource, but I would not rely on it as a primary text to teach this material.