Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Women's Tales: Holocaust Books

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20 Essential Works of Holocaust Literature
by Kate Rothwell
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I received this guest post which I thought fit in with Women's Tales especially in relation to the featured book Gated Grief by Leila Levinson. From the list I selected books written by women to highlight...

Powerful fiction and nonfiction alike imbue readers with the knowledge necessary to identify and actively work towards making the planet safer for all its peoples.

Diary of a Young Girl (1947)
by Anne Frank

One of the most tragic and memorable works to come out of the Nazi occupation, Anne Frank's diary chronicles two years of life crammed in an Amsterdam attic. The two families hiding from their potential captors — thanks to the cooperation of some sympathetic Dutch — were forced to remain quiet and obscured if they hoped to survive. In spite of the hardship, the young woman's diary frequently reveals an upbeat, positive attitude and ruminations on relatable adolescent experiences, such as crushes and puberty. Her father Otto was responsible for the book's publication following the family's horrific capture and subsequent stint in concentration camps. Anne Frank herself passed away from typhoid while at Bergen-Belsen.

The Devil's Arithmetic (1988)
by Jane Yolen

12-year-old Hannah Stern absolutely dreads the upcoming Seder. A time-travel mishap launches her to 1942 Poland, where she finds herself amongst a family who thinks her a cholera-stricken orphan. A Nazi raid subsequently lands her in a concentration camp, where the tragedies escalate and ultimately end inside a gas chamber. Jane Yolen's provocative young adult novel revolves around the theme of understanding history and its myriad forms. Throughout Stern's narrative, she explores personal, family, national and international happenstances that mold and shape humanity for good and for ill. Regardless of whether or not an individual notices, someone else's past may very well determine his or her present and future.

Number the Stars (1989)
by Lois Lowry

Since 1989, many young adults nurtured an interest in history and Holocaust literature thanks to this novel. An apt introduction to the genre, Number the Stars takes readers to Copenhagen, where the Johansen family risks their very lives for the sake of social justice. As the Nazis storm through Denmark in search of Jewish victims, they take in young Annemarie's best friend Ellen Rosen and bravely pretend she is a member of the family. The death of eldest daughter Lise, murdered for her role in the Dutch Resistance Movement, provides them with a relatively easy cover — though life-threatening cracks begin to form in the Johansen's valiant, altruistic plan.

View the rest of the list here.

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20 Essential Works of Holocaust Literature
by Kate Rothwell
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I have not read any of these. But if you have, I would be interested in your thoughts on them.

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