Stories of Hope and Redemption as an Introduction to Yom HaShoah
The Holocaust is a difficult subject to approach with students. We as educators want to highlight moments of strength, resilience, and hope instead of defining the era as a time of fear and violence. However, it’s not always easy to start those conversations on our own.
The following books introduce the subject of the Holocaust by highlighting the survivors and stories of perseverance. Perfect for students aged 8-12, these books make a fantastic addition to any classroom, especially in commemoration of Yom HaShoah.
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. Written for ages 8-12, 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.
The Tattooed Torah
By Marvell Ginsburg
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.
Ten Thousand Children: True Stories Told by Children Who Escaped the Holocaust on the Kindertransport
By Anne L. Fox & Eva Abraham-Podietz
The remarkable experiences of these fortunate children are dramatically brought to life in this collection of first-person accounts, presented by authors and real-life Kinder Anne L. Fox and Eva Abraham-Podietz.
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