Terezin

Through inmates’ own voices and artwork, Terezin explores the lives of Jewish people in one of the most infamous of the Nazi transit camps. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany turned the small town of Terezin, Czechoslovakia, into a ghetto, and then into a transit camp for thousands of Jewish people. It was a “show” camp, where inmates were forced to use their artistic talents to fool the world about the truth of gas chambers and horrific living conditions for imprisoned Jews. Here is their story, told through the firsthand accounts of those who were there. In this accessible, meticulously researched book, Ruth Thomson allows the inmates to speak for themselves through secret diary entries, artwork, and excerpts from memoirs and recordings narrated after the war. Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust is a moving portrait that shows the strength of the human will to endure, to create, and to survive.

Clay Man: The Golem Of Prague

clayIt is 1595, and the rabbi’s son Jacob is frustrated with having to live in the walled ghetto known as Jewish Town. Why can’t he venture outside of the gates and explore the beautiful city? His father warns him that Passover is a dangerous time to be a Jew and that the people from outside accuse the Jews of dreadful deeds. But one night, Jacob follows his father and two companions as they unlock the ghetto gates and proceed to the river, where they mold a human shape from the mud of the riverbank. When the rabbi speaks strange words, the shape is infused with life and the Golem of Prague is born.In this breathtaking retelling of a timeless tale, Irene N. Watts’s beautiful words are complemented by the haunting black-and-white images of artist Kathryn E. Shoemaker.

Guttersnipe

Early in the twentieth century, ten-year-old Ben and his family live in the poorest part of their city with other Jewish immigrants. There is never enough money to make ends meet, so Ben, determined to do his part, lands a job delivering hat linings to a hat factory after school. He sets out on his boss’s bicycle feeling strong and free, and has a grand time until, on his way up Hill Street, he gets a harsh comeuppance, one that hurts his body and threatens to destroy his dreams as well. Based on the experiences of the author’s father and illustrated in Emily Arnold McCully’s signature style, this book celebrates a boy who nearly loses hope, but then learns that the future shines bright and full of second chances.