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workshop reflections

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Bibliography of Selected Holocaust Fictional Works for Young Adults:

Ackerman, Karen. The Night Crossing. New York: Knopf, 1994.
In 1938, having begun to feel Nazi persecution in their Austrian city, Clara and her family flee over the mountains to Switzerland.

Adler, David A. One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story. San Diego: Gulliver Books, 1995.
During Hanukkah two children help a Holocaust survivor to once again embrace his religious traditions.

Almagor, Gila. Under the domim tree. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1995.
Chronicles joys and troubles of a group of teens, mostly Holocaust survivors, living in an Israeli youth settlement in 1953.

Cormier, Robert. Tunes for Bears to Dance To. New York: Delacorte Press, 1992.
11 year-old Henry escapes his family's problems by watching the woodcarving of Mr. Levine, an elderly Holocaust survivor; but when Henry is manipulated into betraying his friend, he comes to know true evil.

Dillon, Eilis. Children of Bach. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992.
Hungarian family of talented musicians escapes Nazi persecution.

Drucker, Malka & Halperin, Michael. Jacob’s Rescue A Holocaust Story. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.
In answer to his daughter's questions, a man recalls the terrifying years of his childhood when a brave Polish couple, Alex and Mela Roslan, hid him and other Jewish children. Based on a true story.

Feder, Paula Kurzband. The feather-bed journey. Morton Grove, Ill.: A Whitman, 1995.
As she tries to repair a torn feather pillow, Grandma tells of her Polish childhood, Nazi persecution during WW II, and the origin of the special pillow.

Friedman, Carl. Nightfather. New York: Persea Books, 1994.
Based on the real life experiences of Friedman, this novel tells the story of children living with a father who is a Holocaust survivor. Beautifully and compellingly written.

Gehrts, Barbara. Don't Say a Word. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Novel which describes author's own experiences growing up in Nazi Germany as daughter of anti-Nazi Luftwaffe officer. Unusual perspective.

Gotfryd, Bernard. Anton the Dove Fancier. New York: Washington Square Press, 1990.
Short stories based on Gotfryd's personal experiences which include a variety of individuals, including a Nazi officer, a deaf-mute woman, shopkeepers, etc.

Hoestlandt, Jo. Star of fear, star of hope. New York: Walker, 1995.
9 year-old Helen is confused by the disappearance of a Jewish friend during the German occupation of Paris.

Laird, Christa. Shadow of the Wall. New York: Greenwillow, 1990.
Novel set in Warsaw ghetto in 1942 features a boy living with his two younger sisters in Janusz Korczak’s orphanage. Much easier to read and shorter than Korczak's biography.

Matas, Carol. After the War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
After Buchenwald release, 15-year-old Ruth risks her life to lead a group of children across Europe to Palestine.

Merlove, Miriam. Flowers on the Wall. New York, NY: M. K. McElderry Books, 1995.
Rachel, a young Jewish girl living in Nazi occupied Warsaw, struggles to survive with her family and maintains hope by painting colorful flowers on the dingy apartment walls.

Muskin, Marietta. I Am Rosemarie. New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1987.
Fictional composite of actual Dutch Jews, Rosemarie was deported with family to Westerbork transit camp and then Bergen-Belsen. Rosemarie and most of her family survived.

Orgel, Doris. The Devil in Vienna. New York: Puffin, 1988.
Based partly on author's own experiences, the story takes place in Vienna just prior to Nazi annexation of Austria in March 1938. Uses diary entries to show difficulties of 13 year-old Jewish girl maintaining friendship with daughter of Nazi.

Orlev, Uri. The Island on Bird Street. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983.
In WW II, a Jewish boy is left on his own for months in a ruined house in the Warsaw ghetto where he must learn survival tricks under life-threatening conditions.

_______. The Lady with the Hat. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995.
In 1947, 17 year-old Yulek, the only member of his immediate family to survive the German camps, joins a group of young Jews preparing to live on a kibbutz in Israel, unaware that his aunt in London is looking for him.

_______. The Lead Soldier. New York: Taplinger, 1980.
A semi-autobiographical novel of a young boy's journey from a suburb of Warsaw to the ghetto to Bergen-Belsen. Yurik and his kid brother Kazik transmute the life and death around them into children's games.

_______. The Man from the Other Side. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
Living on the Warsaw Ghetto outskirts in WW II, 14 year-old Marek and his grandparents shelter a Jewish man in the days before the Jewish uprising.

_______. Run, Boy, Run. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.
Eight year-old Srulik escapes the Warsaw ghetto and spends the war on the run, surviving in Nazi-occupied Poland. The novel is based on the experiences of a fellow survivor and childhood friend of Orlev.

Ramati, Alexander. And the Violins Stopped Playing: A Story of the Gypsy Holocaust. New York: Franklin Watts, 1986.
Written as novel, book is based on notes given to Ramati by Roman Mirga, a Polish Gypsy and the main character. Tells of Mirga's experiences from 1942-1945 as he escapes from Nazis in Poland, is caught in Hungary, and sent to Auschwitz.

Richter, Hans. Friedrich. New York: Puffin Books, 1987.
Novel about a German boy and his friendship with a Jewish boy Friedrich during the Nazi years. Useful chronology adds to student's understanding.

_________. I Was There. New York: Puffin Books, 1987.
Not a novel, but rather a first-person account by Richter of the Hitler Youth movement as he experienced it. Richter says, “I am reporting how I lived through that time and what I saw—no more. I was there. I believed—and I will never believe again.”

Roth-Hano, Renee. Touch Wood A Girlhood in Occupied France. New York: Four Winds Press, 1988.
An autobiographical novel set in Nazi occupied France. Renee, a young Jewish girl, and her family flee home in Alsace and live precariously in Paris until Renee and her sister escape to the shelter of a convent in Normandy. (U.S. Holocaust Museum lists book as “memoir.”)

Schnur, Steven. The Shadow Children. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1994.
While spending a summer on his grandfather’s farm in the French countryside, 11-year-old Etienne discovers a secret dating back to WW II and encounters ghosts of Jewish children who suffered under the Nazis.

Siegal, Aranka. Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary, 1939-1944. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981.
Fictionalized memoir of the author’s and family’s heroic responses to the slow destruction of the Jewish community in Hitler-dominated Hungary.

Spinelli, Jerry. Milkweed. New York: Knopf, 2003.
An orphaned boy survives life in the Warsaw ghetto.

Treseder, Terry Walton. Hear O Israel: A Story of the Warsaw Ghetto. New York: Atheneum, 1990.
Brief story which chronicles Isaac and his family in Warsaw. Moves from a bar mitzvah to hunger to a train ride to Treblinka and shows how family's faith in God is sustained.

Uhlman, Fred. Reunion. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977.
Novella about two schoolboys in Germany in the early 1930s—one the son of a Jewish doctor, the other a German aristocrat.

Voigt, Cynthia. David and Jonathan. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1992.
Explores the relationship between two close friends—Henry and Jonathon—and the changes the relationship undergoes when Jonathon’s cousin David, a Holocaust survivor, comes to live with Jonathon’s family.

Vos, Ida. Anna Is Still Here. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993.
13 year-old Anna, a hidden child in Nazi-occupied Holland, gradually learns to deal with the realities of being a survivor.

______. Hide and Seek. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
Story based on autobiographical material about a Dutch girl’s experiences under Nazi occupation.

Fiction for Secondary Students and Adults:

Alexander, Lynne. Safe Houses. New York: Atheneum, 1985.
Novel about Gerda, a Hungarian Jew now living in Brooklyn, and her upstairs neighbor Jack, a Viennese pastry chef. Their lives had crossed in Budapest in 1945 under the nose of Eichmann.

Appelfeld, Aharon. The Age of Wonders. Boston: David R. Godine Publisher, 1981.
Novel which shows secure world of well-established and apparently well-assimilated Jewish writer in Austrian town before WW II fall to pieces under force of political and social realities of Austrian anti-Semitism.

_____________ .Badenheim 1939. Boston: David R. Godine, 1980.
Dramatizes not just the summer of 1939, but the entire pre-WW II experience of the Jews of Germany and Austria.

_____________ . “Badenheim 1939” in The Penguin Book of Jewish Short Stories (Emanuel Litvinoff, ed.). New York: Penguin Books, 1983, 143-170.
Short story version.

_____________. For Every Sin. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989.
Chronicles a young Holocaust survivor's struggle to come to terms with his experiences.

_____________. The Retreat. New York: E. P Dutton, Inc., 1984.
Story about assimilated Jews of central Europe on the brink of a Holocaust they cannot believe will take place.

_____________. To the Land of the Cattails. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986.
Novel chronicling the journey of young man and his mother in 1938 as they travel across heart of Europe to her distant childhood land. Village Jews are being shipped off on mysterious train to unspecified destination.

_____________. Tzili: The Story of a Life. New York: Dutton, 1983.
Novel which tells the story of a poor, stupid Jewish girl, left behind as her family flees during WW II. Yet she unwittingly manages to survive the Holocaust in the company of the local Polish peasants. Reminiscent of a parable.

Becker, Jurek. Jacob the Liar. New York: Arcade Publishing, 1969.
Seen by many as the best novel about the Holocaust written by a German author, the book focuses on Jacob Heym's experiences in a ghetto and the lies he tells because lies are the only thing people will believe.

Borowski, Tadeusz. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. New York: Penguin Books, 1983.
Short stories based on the author's experiences as a non-Jewish communist in Auschwitz.

Epstein, Leslie. King of the Jews: A Novel of the Holocaust. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1979.
Controversial novel of a ghetto in Poland and the head of the Judenrat. Loosely based on Lodz Ghetto and Chaim Rumkowski.

Fink, Ida. A Scrap of Time and Other Stories. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987.
Short stories based on authentic experiences about life in Poland during the Holocaust. Some stories show how time was measured by Holocaust victims and some describe people in variety of normal human situations distorted by circumstances of the times.

______. The Journey. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1992.
Story in autumn 1942 as two young Jewish sisters dress as Polish peasants and flee the ghetto, going into the heart of Germany to work as hired labor in factories, farms, and villages.

Green, Gerald. Holocaust A Novel of Survival and Triumph. Williamsport, Pa: Duron Books, 1978.
Based on the long NBC-TV documentary, the book tells the saga of a gentle and compassionate Jewish physician and his family from 1935 to 1945 under the brutalities of the Nazis.

Hegi, Ursula. Stones from the River. New York: Scribners, 1994.
Novel which focuses on the life of a German Zwerg or dwarf from 1915 through 1946 as she deals with her own physical size as well as the Nazi regime; Trudi harbors Jews during the war.

Hersey, John. The Wall. New York: Knopf, 1950.
Concerns the creation of the Warsaw Ghetto, the building of the wall around it, and the uprising and destruction of the ghetto.

Keneally, Thomas. Schindler’s List. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982.
Based on many facts of Schindler's life, chronicles this Gentiles associations with the Nazis and his efforts to save Jews for his factories.

Kertesz, Imre. Fateless. Evanston, IL: Hydra Books, 1996.
Gyorgy Koves, the narrator of the novel who survives Auschwitz and Buchenwald, concludes, “I have heard it said before, and now I can attest to its truth: narrow prison walls cannot set limits to the flights of our imagination.” (page 188)

Kosinski, Jerzy. The Painted Bird. New York: Modern Library, 1982.
Novel focusing on a young boy abandoned by his parents in Eastern Europe during WW II and mistakenly thought to be a Jew or a Gypsy. His adolescent innocence encounters terror and brutality. Use with discretion.

Lakin, Pat. Don’t Forget. New York: Tambourine Books, 1994.
While bringing the ingredients for a first cake—a surprise for her mother’s birthday—Sarah shares secrets with friendly neighborhood shopkeepers, especially the Singers, who have blue numbers on their arms.

Langer, Lawrence, ed. Art from the Ashes: A Holocaust Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
An excellent anthology of memoirs, poetry, fiction, and a play.

Lustig, Arnold. Darkness Casts No Shadows. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1985.
Two young boys escape a transport between concentration camp and unknown destination and also try to escape memories of past experiences and find home that no longer exists.

Ozick, Cynthia. The Shawl. New York: Random House, 1990.
Originally published as two separate stories, title story tells of mother witnessing baby's death at hands of camp guards. Rosa describes same mother 30 years later, still haunted by the event.

__________. “The Shawl.” In The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
A gripping story of a mother, her infant, and a young child being forced to march to a death camp.

Ramati, Alexander. And the Violins Stopped Playing: A Story of the Gypsy Holocaust. New York: Franklin Watts, 1986.
Written as novel, book is based on notes given to Ramati by Roman Mirga, a Polish Gypsy and the main character. Tells of Mirga’s experiences from 1942-1945 as he escapes from Nazis in Poland, is caught in Hungary, and sent to Auschwitz.

Schlink, Bernhard. The Reader. New York: Vintage Books, 1997.
Portrays the relationship between a younger man and older woman as he learns of her hidden Nazi past.

Szeman, Sherri. The Kommandant’s Mistress. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
Portrays the relationship between the Kommandant of a Nazi concentration camp and the Jewish inmate he makes his mistress. First part of novel is told by Kommandant and last part is told by the mistress.

Thomas, D. M. Pictures at an Exhibition. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993.
Deals with Auschwitz and its survivors in London.

Uris, Leon. Exodus. New York: Bantam Books, 1969.
Novel about the attempts of some Jews to reach Palestine.

_______. Mila 18. New York: Bantam Books, 1978.
Novel about the street in the Warsaw Ghetto where the Jews made their final stand.

Wiesel, Elie. The Gates of the Forest. New York: Schocken, 1982.
A young Hungarian Jews escapes to the forest during the Nazi occupation, masquerades as a mute in another village and joins the Jewish partisans.

Yolen, Jane. Briar Rose. New York: A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1992.
Uses the German story of Briar Rose—Sleeping Beauty—and sets story in forests patrolled by the German army during WW II. Weaves the fairy tale and Holocaust together.

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