Sunday, May 15, 2011


Debbie Levy's mother, Jutta, was approximately twelve years old when Hitler came to power. Jutta and her family, Polish Jews living in Germany, were one of the last families in their neighborhood allowed to leave Germany and immigrate to the United States. Jutta was allowed to bring her poesie album, (a book similar, but more elaborate, than American autograph albums), which had been signed by many of her friends and family members.

Levy used the poesie album as the basis for THE YEAR OF GOODBYES, which chronicles Jutta's last year in Germany, ending as the family arrives in the United States. Each chapter begins with a reproduction and translation of one page from the poesie album. This is followed by a story poem, told in Jutta's voice describing the events of that particular period. The poems are powerful and very real.

The book also includes a really detailed afterword, with more background information about the war, a timeline information about what happened to Jutta's friends and relatives, and also family photographs.

I loved this book. Think it would be a great way to help intermediate grade and middle school students begin to understand World War Two and the Holocaust. It would also be terrific in a basket of poetry novels.

1 comment:

Patrick A. Allen said...

Always love reading about your new finds! Thanks as always...