by Karen Levine. (Albert Whitman & Company, 2002. ISBN 0807531480. Order Info.) Nonfiction. 111 pages. Grades 4-9.
This wonderful nonfiction title interweaves the story of Hana Brady a girl in Czechoslovakia who was eventually killed at Auschwitz with the story of Fumiko, a teacher in Japan, fifty years later who is given Hana's suitcase as part of a display on the Holocaust and passionately tracks down as much information as she can find on Hana.
This touching story of Hana and her brother George, their life before and during WWII and a Japanese teacher's tireless detective work to uncover their story are engaging reading. The Japanese connection and the group of young students for whom the Japanese teacher does her sleuthing bring home the importance of history.
In the end we meet Hana's now 69 year old brother and his young daughter and hear about the amazing effects of Fumiko's research and education efforts thus infusing our sorrow with hope.
Throughout there are wonderful family photos of Hana and her family and of the Japanese students studying her. This is a brilliantly written must read for anyone studying the holocaust.
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