|Let the celebrations begin!|
Author: Wild, Margaret
Amid rumors of liberation, inmates at Germany's Belsen camp create toys for a celebration near the end of World War II.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 28569
School Library Journal (01/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 Gr 2 Up—Originally published in 1991 and only available in paperback for some time, this is a touching—almost overwhelming—story that details a celebration for the liberation of Bergen-Belsen at the end of World War II. The women and children in Hut 18 have heard that the liberation is coming. Miriam, our narrator, describes the camp: no food, everyone sad, everyone hoping to be freed. A party is planned for the opening of the gates and toys will be made for each child for the celebration. The toys are made from scraps of cloth, often from someone's rags: a sleeve, a button, a piece of yarn. It is a secret; a surprise for the children. In a book about antique toys, that mentions toys made for the children of Bergen Belsen, Margaret Wild created a story that is frightening in its truth but hopeful for the future. The illustrations, done in watercolor, spare no truth: the clothes are rags that barely cover them, children and women (there are no men) are stick-thin, and everyone's hair is just a scrim of stubble. Despite this heartrending realism, readers will see and feel the hope in the prisoners' eyes and recognize how they believed the toys would help them heal. While the topic of the Holocaust and the camps has become familiar to students and families, this small, bright, and incredibly hopeful story provides a gentle introduction for young and sensitive readers.—Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.