Tag: Holocaust

Open Heart by Elie Wiesel

Author: Elie Weisel
Published: December 4, 2012
79 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Translated by Marion Wiesel

A profoundly and unexpectedly intimate, deeply affecting summing up of his life so far, from one of the most cherished moral voices of our time.

Eighty-two years old, facing emergency heart surgery and his own mortality, Elie Wiesel reflects back on his life. Emotions, images, faces and questions flash through his mind. His family before and during the unspeakable Event. The gifts of marriage and children and grandchildren that followed. In his writing, in his teaching, in his public life, has he done enough for memory and the survivors? His ongoing questioning of God—where has it led? Is there hope for mankind? The world’s tireless ambassador of tolerance and justice has given us this luminous account of hope and despair, an exploration of the love, regrets and abiding faith of a remarkable man.

Kim’s Review:

Elie Wiesel was one of the great heroes of the 20th century! His books have affected and touched so many people and his life has been an influence for good for so many years. He passed away 2 years ago and y’all know I’ve been on a Holocaust literature kick this year. This book is a short and easy read . . . but emotional like you would not believe! I finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas right before reading Open Heart, so I was already emotional. Elie Wiesel’s death popped up in my Facebook memories a little while ago and all the criticism and attacks made me angry and nauseous all over again. So, reading Open Heart again was actually more meaningful and emotional for me than the first time I read it.

I’m a strong believer in historical education, especially Holocaust education; reading how Mr. Wiesel questioned his teaching and writing, the information he conveyed, whether or not he said too much, killed me! His impact on the world should never be questioned or dismissed, and yet when he believed he might die, he did just that. I just wanted to cry . . . which I’ll admit, I did.

Another thing that struck me, was the idea that he acted like this was his first brush with death. Some would probably say that sounds ridiculous, considering everything he survived as a young kid; I found it refreshing and inspiring. He said that, in the Jewish tradition, he tried to live and focus on life and not death.

This book shows the mind of an inspirational, unselfish, and brilliant man and causes us to think about many things that either never occurred to us, or that we would rather not think about at all. Overall, I think everyone should read this book, especially now that Mr. Wiesel and many other Holocaust survivors have passed away. It’s encouraging, informative, emotional, heartbreaking, and inspiring all at the same time!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Video Review of What the Night Sings

Kim is back with another video review! This time it is What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper. As you will see, she loved it!

Title: What the Night Sings
Author: Vesper Stamper
Published: February 20, 2018
266 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her Papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and onto living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Twenty and Ten

Author: Claire Huchet Bishop
Published: March 30th 1978
76 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

During the German occupation of France, twenty French children were brought to a refuge in the mountains. One day a young man came to their school with a request: Could they take in, and hide, ten Jewish refugee children? Sister Gabriel spoke up. “The Nazis are looking for those children. If we take them we must never let on they are here. Do you understand?” Of course the children understood—but how would they hide them if the Nazis came?

Kim’s Review:

I first had this book read to me all the way back in 5th grade. I loved it then and when I found it on sale at Book Outlet, I got myself a copy, my mother in law a copy, my mom a copy . . . Hey this book will make an awesome Christmas gift for the nieces and nephews this year! Sweet! It’s one of those books that sticks with you. It’s a children’s book, but handles the mature topics of the Holocaust and Nazis in a way that kids will safely understand.

The kids at the school handled the German soldiers better than many others did during WW2. Somehow, they took some of the most annoying kid qualities and twisted them into heroic actions. I have nothing but good things to say about Twenty and Ten and I absolutely recommend it to everyone, especially to any kid, whether they like to read or not. This would be such a great resource for teachers in their classrooms. In a world that shies away from teaching the Holocaust, this is a great foundation for the younger kids to have in preparation for later more mature lessons and conversations.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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