Rachel's Oma (her grandmother) has two picture albums. In one the photographs show only happy times -- from after World War II, when she and her daughters had come to America. But the other album includes much sadder times from "before" -- when their life in Germany was destroyed by the Nazis' rise to power. For as long as Rachel can remember, Oma has closed the other album when she's gotten to the sad part. But today Oma will share it all. Today Rachel will hear about what her grandmother, her mother, and her aunts endured. And she'll see how the power of this Jewish family's love for one another gave them the strength to survive. Marisabina Russo illuminates a difficult subject for young readers with great sensitivity. Based on the author's own family history, "Always Remember Me" is a heartbreaking -- and inspiring -- book sure to touch anyone who reads it.
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(240mm x 273mm x 11mm)
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Russo has found a way to tell young children about the Holocaust by recasting her own family's story-the one her own grandmother told her-in a lightly fictionalized version, with Oma telling a small girl named Rachel about her two photo albums. One is full of pictures Rachel knows, of herself, her mother, grandmother and her aunts. The other is of Oma's life, first in Poland and then in Germany, where her family moved because "Jewish people were treated better there." Oma's own grandmother gave her a gold heart necklace before she left, and that token is a leitmotif as WWI breaks out, and Oma's husband takes it to the front and back home again. When the Nazis come to power in Germany, Oma and her daughters are separated, but miraculously survive concentration camps and the death of spouses. One daughter, who had escaped to America, kept the gold heart, which Oma now presents to Rachel. Matte gouache illustrations with the hieratic form of family photographs provide just the right counterpoint to Russo's exquisitely understated text. (Picture book. 6-10) (Kirkus Reviews)
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