The Holocaust is a difficult subject to approach with children. As we approach Yom HaShoah in a particularly challenging year, it may be helpful to highlight moments of strength, resilience, and hope as a response to times of fear.

Here are three stories perfect for ages 7-12 that offer a gentle introduction to the Holocaust, each told through singular stories that highlight stories of perseverance. 

Hand in Hand

By Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum  

Illustrated by Maya Shleifer 

Separated from her family, Ruthi struggles to find hope by holding tight to a childhood promise in this story of loss and love. Reminiscent of the stylings of Art Spiegleman's Maus, this fablelike introduction to the Holocaust is "a helpful beginning," according to Kirkus Reviews. 

Mama hugged us too tightly.

Pressed kisses upon our heads

Then suddenly, like the sun

She was gone…

I held Lieb’s hand in mine,

I told him I’d never let him go.

In an interview, author Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum underscores why it's imperative to teach the Holocaust to our children and students.  

"We’re obligated to teach children that underneath our skin we’re all exactly the same," Rosenbaum says. "The Holocaust is not just Jewish history. Any people, culture, or religion can be singled out and blamed for societal ills. The challenge is for us ... make sure that it never happens again." 

Read the full interview with the author here.  

Hand in Hand is available here and here


Roller-Coaster Grandma: The Amazing Story of Dr. Ruth

By Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Pierre Lehu

Illustrated by Mark Simmons

Dr. Ruth’s life has been anything but boring. Roller-Coaster Grandma recounts Dr. Ruth’s escape from the Nazis at age 10 aboard a Kindertransport, to her training as a sniper with the Haganah in Israel, through her immigration to the U.S., where she started as a maid, became a college professor, and eventually a television star. Using a trip to an amusement park with her grandchildren as its framework, the story subtly demonstrates the lessons of grit, resilience, and strength that readers can apply to their own lives.

Roller-Coaster Grandma is available here and here.


The Tattooed Torah

By Marvell Ginsburg

Illustrated by Martin Lemelman

This true story of the rescue and restoration of a small Torah from Brno, Czechoslovakia, teaches the Holocaust not only as a period of destruction but also as an opportunity for redemption.

Read a letter written by author Marvell Ginsburg here on how to discuss the difficult subject of the Holocaust with children.

The Tattooed Torah is available here and here.



Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and connect with us on social media!