I also love that the prompts are related to different aspects of my life. Today’s prompt, for example, was Golden Classics or any book published before 1995. I immediately thought about Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and hoped with all my might that it would fit the prompt. It did since it was published in 1989. Like I said, this book is important to me for several reasons.
I first read this book when I was in sixth grade when a teacher told us we could pick what we wanted to read. My mom had bought it for me at a school event. I think besides telling us stories about our family and how they had been victims of the Holocaust, her way of teaching us about it was through literature. So, yes, I am Jewish, like Ellen, who is Annemarie’s, the main character’s best friend. And I do not have a necklace with a Star of David but I do have one with the Chai symbol, which means life. Fun fact about that first time I read this book: my teacher then selected it as required reading for the following years.
Now, Yom HaShoah, or the Holocaust Remembrance Day, was earlier this week (April 20th to April 21st), and as a teacher and as a Jew, I feel like the best way to remember is reading the stories about other people who were victims of the atrocious events of the Holocaust. Even though Annemarie and Ellen might not have existed, many girls like them did, and their story is one that should live and be passed on among the generations.
Now you know why this is an important book for me. I reread it between April 24th and April 25th, 2020, and gave it four stars. This story is set during World War II in Copenhagen, Denmark. Annemarie and her best friend Ellen live in the same building. Ellen is Jewish, Annemarie is not, but her family belongs to the Resistance. This is a very short book and it takes place in only a few days, but I swear you can’t breathe while you read it.
Upon rereading, I realized that there was a lot that went over my head the first time I read this and I am glad that now I’m older, I’ve read more about the Holocaust and as a teacher, I can also understand what the best way to approach this book would be. This is a middle-grade book, but since it is hard-hitting, I think young readers should have guidance from an adult and the conversation on the history of World War II should be open. I am grateful that my mom was always very straightforward when sharing about how our own family suffered because of the war, which ultimately resulted in us being Colombian.
I am putting together a novel study for this book and I will be working on it next week. What is a book that has marked you in special ways? Let me know in the comments below.
Love, Miss Camila