The Librarian of Auschwitz
Author: Antonio Iturbe
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (BYR)
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust. Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz. Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope. This title has Common Core connections. Godwin Books
Author: Edith Eva Eger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award and 2018 Christopher Award “Edith’s strength and courage are remarkable…her life and work are an incredible example of forgiveness, resilience, and generosity.”—Sheryl Sandberg It’s 1944 and sixteen-year-old ballerina and gymnast Edith Eger is sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive. The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story.
A Bag of Marbles
Author: Joseph Joffo
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Recounts how two Jewish boys in France--the author and his older brother--begin an odyssey of pain and terror when their father sent them off to the Unoccupied Zone with the warning that they must never admit that they were Jews.
Sobre el fango negro de Auschwitz que todo lo engulle, Fredy Hirsch ha levantado en secreto una escuela. En un lugar donde los libros están prohibidos, la joven Dita esconde bajo su vestido los frágiles volúmenes de la biblioteca pública más pequeña, recóndita y clandestina que haya existido nunca. En medio del horror, Dita nos da una maravillosa lección de coraje: no se rinde y nunca pierde las ganas de vivir ni de leer porque, incluso en ese terrible campo de exterminio, «abrir un libro es como subirte a un tren que te lleva de vacaciones». Una emocionante novela basada en hechos reales que rescata del olvido una de las más conmovedoras historias de heroísmo cultural.
Author: Tilar J. Mazzeo
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The "extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler--the "female Oskar Schindler"--who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II"--Dust jacket.
Author: Mario Escobar
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save. On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined. After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself. Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history. Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.
A cast of extravagant and affecting characters lovingly portrayed by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt animates these eight contemporary fables about people in search of happiness. One of Europe's most popular and bestselling authors, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt captivates the reader with his spirited style and enchanting stories that move effortlessly from the everyday to the fantastical. The eight stories in this collection, his first to be published in English, represent his best and most imaginative storylines: from the touching and surprising love story between Balthazar, a wealthy author, and Odette, a shop clerk, to the tale of a barefooted princess; from the moving title story about a group of female prisoners in a Soviet gulag to the entertaining portrait of a perennially disgruntled perfectionist. Behind each story lies a simple, if elusive, truth: though we may be frequently blind to it, happiness is often right in front of our eyes.
Despuas Del Amor
Author: Sonsoles Ónega
Publisher: Planeta Publishing
Carmen viajaba en un tren desde Barcelona cuando un cruce de miradas cambió su vida para siempre. Era 1933, y Federico Escofet y Carmen Trilla --él, capitán del ejército; ella, una esposa atrapada en un matrimonio infeliz-- tejieron una historia de amor que ni las habladurías, ni la guerra civil, ni el exilio lograrían deshacer, pero que dejó en los tres hijos de Carmen la huella del desarraigo. Basada en hechos reales, Sonsoles Ónega novela la historia de una mujer valiente que reconstruyó su identidad en una España donde a las mujeres no se les permitía amar y desamar. Una inolvidable historia de amor clandestino cuyos protagonistas tuvieron que enfrentarse a todos los convencionalismos sociales. Una inolvidable historia de amor clandestino que atravesó una guerra y superó todas las barreras sociales.
The Dollmaker of Krakow
Author: R. M. Romero
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
In the vein of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Number the Stars, this fusion of fairy tales, folklore, and World War II history eloquently illustrates the power of love and the inherent will to survive even in the darkest of times. In the land of dolls, there is magic. In the land of humans, there is war. Everywhere there is pain. But together there is hope. Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Kraków, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past. The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter—that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him. But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.
Author: Irene Nemirovsky
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Suite Française is both a brilliant novel of wartime and an extraordinary historical document. An unmatched evocation of the exodus from Paris after the German invasion of 1940, and of life under the Nazi occupation, it was written by the esteemed French novelist Irène Némirovsky as events unfolded around her. This haunting masterpiece has been hailed by European critics as a War and Peace for the Second World War. Though she conceived the book as a five-part work (based on the form of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony), Irène Némirovsky was able to write only the first two parts, Storm in June and Dolce, before she was arrested in July 1942. She died in Auschwitz the following month. The manuscript was saved by her young daughter Denise; it was only decades later that Denise learned that what she had imagined was her mother’s journal was in fact an invaluable work of art. Storm in June takes place in the tumult of the evacuation from Paris in 1940, just before the arrival of the invading German army. It moves vividly between different levels of society–from the wealthy Péricand family, whose servants pack up their possessions for them, to a group of orphans from the 16th arrondissement escaping in a military truck. Némirovsky’s immense canvas includes deserting soldiers and terrified secretaries, cynical bank directors and hapless priests, egotistical writers and hardscrabble prostitutes–all thrown together in a chaotic attempt to escape the capital. Moving between them chapter by chapter, this thrilling novel describes a journey hampered and in some cases abandoned because of confusion, shelling, rumour, lack of supplies, bad luck and ordinary human weakness. Cars break down or are stolen; relatives are forgotten; friends are divided; but there are also moments of love and charity. Throughout, whether depicting saintly forbearance or the basest selfishness, Storm in June neither sweetens nor demonizes its characters; unsentimentally, with stunning perceptiveness, Némirovsky shows the complexities that mean no-one is simply a hero or villain. The second volume, Dolce, is set in the German-occupied village of Bussy. Again, Némirovsky switches seamlessly between social strata, from tenant farmers to the local aristocracy. The focus, however, is on the delicate, secret love affair between a German soldier and the French woman in whose house he has been billeted; the passion, doubts and deceits of their burgeoning relationship echo the complex mixture of hostility and acceptance felt by the occupied community as a whole. Némirovsky is amazingly sensitive in her depiction of changing, often contradictory emotions, but her attention to the personal is matched by her sharp-eyed discussion of small-town life and the politics of occupation. In this myth-dissolving book, the French villagers see the Germans as oppressive warriors, but also as handsome young men, and occupation does nothing to remedy the condescension and envy that bedevil relations between rich and poor. Quite apart from the astonishing story of its survival, Suite Française is a novel of genius and lasting artistic value. Subtle, often fiercely ironic, and deeply compassionate, it is both a piercing record of its time and a humane, profoundly moving novel. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Bernhard Schlink
Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Smoke Over Birkenau
Author: Liana Millu
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Presents stories of women who lived and suffered alongside Liana Millu during months in a concentration camp, describing their struggle to overcome violence and tragedy
The Dead Witness
Author: Michael Sims
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
The Dead Witness gathers the finest adventures among private and police detectives from the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth--including a wide range of overlooked gems creating the finest ever anthology of Victorian detective stories. "The Dead Witness," the 1866 title story by Australian writer Mary Fortune, is the first known detective story by a woman, a suspenseful clue-strewn manhunt in the Outback. This forgotten treasure sets the tone for the whole anthology-surprises from every direction, including more female detectives and authors than you can find in any other anthology of its kind. Pioneer women writers such as Anna Katharine Green, Mary E. Wilkins, and C. L. Pirkis will take you from rural America to bustling London. Female detectives range from Loveday Brooke to Dorcas Dene and Madelyn Mack. In other stories, you will meet November Joe, the Canadian half-Native backwoods detective who stars in "The Crime at Big Tree Portage" and demonstrates that Sherlockian attention to detail works as well in the woods as in the city. Holmes himself is here, too, of course-not in another reprint of an already well-known story, but in the first two chapters of A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes case, in which the great man meets and dazzles Watson. Authors range the gamut from luminaries such as Charles Dickens to the forgotten author who helped inspire Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," the first real detective story. Bret Harte is here and so is E. W. Hornung, creator of master thief Raffles. Naturally Wilkie Collins couldn't be left behind. Michael Sims's new collection unfolds the fascinating and entertaining youth of what would mature into the most popular genre of the twentieth century.
El Pais called The Library of Unrequited Love "a thrilling soliloquy, an exciting breath of love." The librarian, a single, middle-aged woman, a sharply opinionated and thoughtful bookworm, whose ex-boyfriend left her for another woman, discovers one morning a patron who has been locked in over night. Against her quiet nature, she starts to talk to him, what results is a soliloquy of frustrations, observations, and anguish, covering--with wit, pathos, and passion--history, literature, the Dewey Decimal System, love, and loneliness, as well as revealing her unrequited passion for a quiet student-researcher named Martin, whose studiousness, grace, and "beautiful neck" strikes her. Divry's prose is seamless--never laborious--both funny and poignant. The book's compactness offers an immersive reading experience that touches universal emotional experiences from the perspective of a bookworm.
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
"We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine." When Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights. His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave. When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona--a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons--an reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets. Carlos Ruiz Zafon's haunting Marina has long been a cult classic in Spain and is now an international bestseller.