Synopses & Reviews
An amazing and inspirational World War II story about how one man saved the lives of many.
Raoul Wallenbergand#8217;s name may not be a universally familiar one, but the impact he had is immeasurable. Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He did this by issuing protective passports and housing Jews in buildings established as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives. Louise Borden researched Wallenbergand#8217;s life for many years, visiting with his family and the site of his childhood home, and learned his story from beginning to end. Wallenberg himself has not been heard from since 1945. It is suspected he died while in Russian custody, though this has never been proven. Raoul Wallenberg . . . itand#8217;s a name you may not have known, but youand#8217;ll never forget his story.
"Moving and inspiring; Wallenbergand#8217;s is a name to remember for all time, and Borden has done an admirable job of ensuring readers will."and#8212;Kirkus "Borden's extensive research is evident throughout. Abundant photographs add immediacy to the narrative, and the double-spaced text and wide margins make the book accessible to students with reading difficulties."--School Library Journal, starred review "Borden takes a little-known story from history and gives it new life and appeal via meticulous research and deft presentation...a compelling and readable nonfiction gem."--VOYA "Scrupulously researched...The story is riveting, and the stylish prose, in compact, ragged-right format, provides a sense of urgency and mystery."--Bulletin
During their six-year ordeal of World War II, the Blumenthal family lived in refugee and prison camps, including the notorious concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany. This is their story, as seen through the eyes of a child.
The twentieth-anniversary edition of Marion Blumenthal Lazan s acclaimed Holocaust memoir features new material by the author, a reading group guide, a map, and additional photographs. The writing is direct, devastating, with no rhetoric or exploitation. The truth is in what s said and in what is left out. ALA Booklist (starred review)
Marion Blumenthal Lazan s unforgettable and acclaimed memoir recalls the devastating years that shaped her childhood. Following Hitler s rise to power, the Blumenthal family father, mother, Marion, and her brother, Albert were trapped in Nazi Germany. They managed eventually to get to Holland, but soon thereafter it was occupied by the Nazis. For the next six and a half years the Blumenthals were forced to live in refugee, transit, and prison camps, including Westerbork in Holland and Bergen-Belsen in Germany, before finally making it to the United States. Their story is one of horror and hardship, but it is also a story of courage, hope, and the will to survive.
Four Perfect Pebbles features forty archival photographs, including several new to this edition, an epilogue, a bibliography, a map, a reading group guide, an index, and a new afterword by the author. First published in 1996, the book was an ALA Notable Book, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and IRA Young Adults Choice, and a Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and the recipient of many other honors. A harrowing and often moving account. School Library Journal
If she could find four perfect pebbles of almost exactly the same size and shape, it meant that her family would remain whole. Mama and papa and she and Albert would survive Bergen-Belsen. The four of them might even survive the Nazis' attempt to destroy every last Jew in Europe.
About the Author
In Her Own Words...
"I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and had a very ordinary and uneventful (as it seemed to me) childhood. I read voraciously, but it never occurred to me that I would one day become a writer. For one thing, I had never met a "real, live author," as young people do nowadays in their schools and libraries. And, in any case, most of the writers I read in my growing-up years, like Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott, were dead.
"I didn't begin to publish juvenile fiction and nonfiction until my own children were in the fourth or fifth grades at school. I was stimulated by their expanding interests and by the realization that I had a great need to explore the longsilent world of my own childhood.
"Soon I was writing contemporary novels for middle-graders, among them the "Fat Glenda" series. I also became intrigued with the reaches and challenges of nonfiction. I ventured into the American culinary past with titles like Slumps, Grunts, and Snickerdoodles:
In Her Own Words...
"At the age of thirteen, upon being placed in fourth grade with boys and girls four years younger than me, I was introduced to the English language for the first time. The German, Dutch, and Hebrew I had learned during my tumultuous "childhood" in Nazi Europe were not of much value at that time. It was not uncommon for me to sit through several showings of great screen classics, including The Best Years of Our Lives. These movies, along with radio, helped me to master the new language. How I found time to attend any movie is still a mystery to me, for I had worked after school ever since our family had reached Peoria, Illinois in 1948.
"By age sixteen both my English and my looks had improved considerably, and this combination somehow inspired a young college sophomore to ask to walk me home at the conclusion of Yom Kippur services on October 10, 1951. At that time I was a sophomore at Peoria Central High School.
"That summer Nathaniel--that "young college sophomore"--returned home to New York for vacation and work. We wrote to each other every day, but Nathaniel didn't make it easy for me. To improve my English he included in each letter ten words for me to look up in the dictionary and then use in a sentence. Not only did I comply with his request (how foolish I felt years later), but I wrote each of my letters to him on scrap paper, and only when I was satisfied with the contents would I pen it in my best possible handwriting.
"I graduated from high school in 1953, having managed to complete my studies in only two years (with summer courses), and ranked eighth in a graduating class of 265 students. Shortly after graduation Nathaniel and I were married, somewhat to the chagrin of my mother and his parents. I was eighteen years old.
"Upon graduating from college, Nathaniel entered U.S. Air Force pilot training, giving me the opportunity to see more of our beautiful United States. Our son David was born in Winter Haven, Florida; daughter, >Lila Perl, my talented co-author. But the sweetest recognition was the Sydney Taylor "Best of the Bunch" citation, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Thirty years ago, when I was an elementary-school PTA program vice-president, a Book-and-Author luncheon was held in our home, and the distinguished guest was none other than Sydney Taylor, the author of the outstanding books about the "All-of-a-Kind Family."