This is a rather precise summing up in seven slender volumes of a dire topic, the Holocaust, one that has dominated non-fiction literature for pre-teen and YA readers for almost half a century. Assuming that the reader will be most engaged in reading at the point where children enter this tragic story, that is where the author begins book 1, Children of the Holocaust, when she describes in a brief space what happened to children in that period of history and why. Once the reader is hooked, book 2, Hitler’s Final Solution, becomes even more specific, covering the whole range of their imprisonment, when most perish and only if they are lucky, will they gain their ultimate liberty. Book 3, Holocaust Camps and Killing Centers, is the most dire. Things look much better in book 4, Holocaust Rescue and Liberation, and even better in book 5, Holocaust Resistance. Book 6, Holocaust Survivors, is, in its way, the most poignant. In it, people try to pick up the remnants of their lives, thank those who helped to save them, but live in a state of shock forever. One survivor put it that they had to learn how to “become human again.” The final volume in the series is Nazi War Criminals, with its difficult subject matter. Each book is a slender 80 pages and is generous with its photographic reproductions and also contains: source notes, names of important people, books for further research and an index. This is a highly recommended and useful set. It is intelligently written, well-organized, and is also respectful of the student’s intellect. It is both a good survey and serves also as a guide and introduction to this pivotal point in the world’s and the Jew’s history and travails.
Recommended for ages 11 – 16.
Additional Books Featured in Review
These seven volumes are a part of Reference Point Press’s “Understanding the Holocaust” series