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Hana's Suitcase [With CD]

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,871 ratings  ·  374 reviews
A biography of a Czech girl who died in the Holocaust, told in alternating chapters with an account of how the curator of a Japanese Holocaust center learned about her life after Hana's suitcase was sent to her.
Library Binding, 111 pages
Published March 15th 2003 by Albert Whitman & Company (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rebecca
This well-written, surprisingly enjoyable book starts in Czechoslovakia in the early 1900's where a little girl named Hana is born and grows up in a loving family with her older brother. Then it switches- for the next chapter- to modern-day Japan where a young lady is putting together a museum for children on the Holocaust. She writes to several places in Germany asking for things to go in her museum and receives a small suitcase with the name "Hanna" and the German word for orphan painted on th ...more
NS- Sarah
Wow! What an amazing story. I read this in about one hour. I loved the juxtaposition of the two stories told together. Hana was a young Jewish girl who did not survive the Holocaust. The book is a tale of Hana, her family and their many obstacles during a very difficult time in history. This book is also the tale of a Japanese woman named, Fumiko Ishioka, who is a museum director in Japan. Fumiko started teaching her students (who named themselves "Little Wings") about the Holocaust and by the e ...more
Brenda
The suitcase had painted on it “Hanna Brady (German spelling of Hana) 625 d.o.b. 16th May 1931 – Waisenkind (German for orphan)”…

Fumiko Ishioka began her job in 1998 at the Holocaust Education Resource Centre in Tokyo, Japan – she was determined to teach the younger generation in Japan about the atrocities of the holocaust during the war, so when the Museum received the suitcase along with a few other items from the Auschwitz Museum, she decided they (the children and her) would try to discover
...more
B the BookAddict
Jan 01, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: So you learn something worthwhile.
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Brenda
Shelves: children-s

I really like that Karen Levine aimed this novel at children (from age 10+); an education by way of novel. Having said that, I did not realize, at first, that the novel was predominantly for children thus I felt a little let down but only a very little. Hana's Suitcase taught me about a part of the Holocaust which was previously not known to me. The story saddened me immeasurably; a suitcase usually signifies a holiday, a trip, the expectation of something new and good; not so for little Hana an
...more
Barbara
This is the true story of how a little girl's suitcase inspired a museum curator to travel half way around the world to uncover a story that has touched the hearts of thousands of Japanese children.

Hana Brady was a young Jewish girl who lived in Czechoslovakia in the 1930's. She and her family became victims of the Third Reich and the Nazi extermination of the Jews. During WWII Japan was one of the Axis powers, and since the end of the war, very little has been publicized in Japan concerning the
...more
Angela
While reading this true story about an 13 year old holocaust victim ,written for children , I couldn't help but be reminded of The Diary of a Young Girl and how in spite of the horrendous circumstances of both Anne and Hana our spirits can be uplifted. Fumiko Ishioka , Director of the Tokyo Holocaust Museum lovingly devoted herself to insuring that Japanese children would learn what happened to six million Jews , of which one and a half million were children. Through her persistence and the tell ...more
Brenda
The suitcase had painted on it “Hanna Brady (German spelling of Hana) 625 d.o.b. 16th May 1931 – Waisenkind (German for orphan)”…

Fumiko Ishioka began her job in 1998 at the Holocaust Education Resource Centre in Tokyo, Japan – she was determined to teach the younger generation in Japan about the atrocities of the holocaust during the war, so when the Museum received the suitcase along with a few other items from the Auschwitz Museum, she decided they (the children and her) would try to discover
...more
Laurel
Hana’s Suitcase is a true story that takes place over 70 years within 3 places-Czechoslovakia, Tokyo, Japan and Toronto Canada. The 3 stories are from the life and experiences of Hana Brady, a Jewish girl, whose life is described from the Holocaust of the 1930’s and 40’s. Hana's parents are taken to different camps from her and her older brother George.

A young woman from the Holocaust Education Resource Center in Tokyo, Japan and students want to learn more about Hana and her suitcase. It is a
...more
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Upper Elementary/Junior High

Format: Audio Book

Awards: ALA Notable Books for Children (2004), Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children (2003), Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (2004), Notable Social Studies Trade Books (2004), Sydney Taylor Award (2002)

The story of Hana Brady, a young Jewish girl the lived and died during the holocaust, is told from the perspective of two different time periods: the one in which she lived and from a mo
...more
Samantha
Levine's book introduces use to Hana and Fumiko. We learn about Hana's childhood and journey to Auschwitz, where she is only survived by her brother. Fumiko is a Japanese teacher that is focused on educating her students on the holocaust. She has a suitcase and name, which leads her to learn more about Hana. She contacts Hana's brother hoping for more information without upsetting him. George is overwhelmed but happy to know his sister's memory is alive and honored. The book ends with George tra ...more
Colleen Fauchelle
When a suitcase arrives at the Holocaust Education Resource Center in Tokyo, Japan in 2000, the children don't just go this is cool. They want to know who Hana was and so Fumiko Ishioka started the long process of finding out about Hana. This book about Hana has been able to be written Because of their desire to find more. I have the Anniversary edition with 70 pages of new Material.

This is the true story of a beautiful young girl born in 1931. Hana Brady had loving parents loved the out doors.
...more
Karen Mardahl
I bought this book when I visited Auschwitz. If I had paid more attention to the book's details and realised it was a children's book, I might not have bought it. I am glad I did. I think the story had the same affect on me, an adult, as it would on a child - to realise that the holocaust must never happen again.

The book tells the story of Hana's childhood in parallel with the story about the search for Hana by the director of the Japanese non-profit Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center. T
...more
Laura
Hana Brady is a young, vibrant girl who happily lives with her parents and her brother in Nove Mesto, Czechoslovakia, not realizing that being Jewish will one day mean the end of her life. This books chronicles how Fumiko Ishioka, a teacher who educates Japanese youth about the Holocaust, expends every effort to discover how Hana’s empty suitcase made it into the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center. Meanwhile, it also shares Hana’s experiences as she ultimately meets her untimely fate at A ...more
Emily  Nuttall
I listened to the audio version of this story. In the beginning, I was a little confused until I realized that the story was told from/regarding two different points in time. This book tells the heart breaking story of a young Jewish girl named Hana Brady whose world was torn apart as a result of Nazi hate and oppression in the 1930s-40s. Before Hitler set out to murder Jewish people, Hana lived a fun filled, adventurous life. As laws against Jews came into fruition, Hana's word became very smal ...more
Judy
Reading this book is like following a scavenger hunt. It's a short book, but both heart-warming and sad. The reader learns of a woman in Tokyo that wants to teach young children about the Holocaust. Through her exhaustive efforts she learns of a young Czech girl who becomes a victim of Nazi hatred. This teacher follows every lead she can to learn about Hana, because of a suitcase the museum receives. I learned of a concentration camp where many children, orphans were taken temporarily before the ...more
Allison
Wow. I'm going to be thinking about this book for a long time. It's moving on two fronts: the heart-wrenching story of a young girl and her brother wrenched away from their carefree pre-War lives, and the story of how, decades later and halfway around the world, a woman in Japan was determined to piece together the details and share the truth of what had happened to Hana.

The narrative structure of this book adds a layer of fascination to the already-compelling story: chapters alternate between
...more
Jo
This is a sensitively written children's book about a little girl called Hana Brady. A true story about Hana and her family, who lived in Czechoslovakia in the 1930's and what happened to them. The story begins when Fumiko Ishioka the director of a small museum in Tokyo starts to investigate one of the exhibits, a small suitcase with the name Hana Brady written on it. The suitcase came from the Holocaust Museum at Auschwitz concentration camp. Fumiko embarks on a long journey to find out what ha ...more
Bernice
My heart was stirring with emotions as I read this story of Hana. I couldn't help, but cry numerous times throughout the story. The book begins with a director of a Children's Center devotion to teach those in Japan about the Holocaust. She wants to teach children about the inequality and injustice occurred during this time and how they could learn from this historical time. As her mission begins she works countless hours trying to get actual artifacts into her museum. Finally she received some ...more
Heidi
Aug 31, 2013 Heidi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 3-5
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Lipko
I begin by honestly saying this simply written book impacted me on a very deep level. Having recently finished The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, a novel of beauty and poignancy, I still carry the haunting memories of the character of Hana Schmitz, a woman who, as a prison guard at a small camp near Cracow, determined the fate of children sent to their death.

As I read Hana's Suitcase, I couldn't help but think about the two Hana's -- one adult fictionalized character for a novel, yet based on real
...more
Charles Martin
Tragically sad, yet optimistic, "Hana's Suitcase" weaves two stories a half-century apart into one, demonstrating that fortitude, tolerance, remembrance, and honor are important human qualities. This book provides an example of how common people and children can make a big impact in the world. I would use this book to help students develop projects that connect the students' read worlds to learning in the classroom. I might pair this book with another like "14 Cows for America" or the movie "Pay ...more
CH_Kathleen
I listened to "Hana's Suitcase" on CD and fell in love with this story. This is based on a true story of a young Jewish girl named Hana and her family. The story is about their life before the Holocaust, during, and the aftermath. A director of a Holocaust museum in Japan receives a suitcase with the name Hana Brady and a birth date. The director is determined to find Hana's story and finds that Hana's older brother George was the only family member to survive. This is the story of what Hana wen ...more
Madison Gervais
Annotation:

When a random suitcase appears at the Holocaust Education Center in Tokyo, Japan to say that questions were raised would be an understatement. This was no ordinary suitcase though, this suitcase belong to a Holocaust victim by the name of Hana Brady. The outside of the suitcase had “Hana Brady” and “Waisenkind” which means orphan in German painted on it. The children at the center had hundreds of questions, who is Hana? Where did she live? So on and so forth. So the curator of the cen
...more
Elizabeth
Jun 24, 2010 Elizabeth added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sara
Shelves: world-war-ii
hard to "rate" a life that was ended in Auschwitz at the age of 13.

Hana Brady's brief story (beginning in 1931) is framed by the modern-day detective work of Fumiko Isioka, the curator of a small Holocaust museum in Japan, who sets out to discover what happened the owner of one of the museum's artifacts--the suitcase of the title.

It's a slender book and an easy read, illustrated with heartbreakingly happy photographs from Czechoslovakian Hana's first 8 or 9 years of life. Amazingly, other illust
...more
Andrew
As director of the Tokyo Holocaust Center, Fumiko Ishioka wanted to find a way to help make the immense tragedy of the Nazi genocide feel real to the Japanese children she was teaching. Through her efforts, she was able to secure the loan of a number of relics from various Holocaust museums, including a suitcase labeled with the name of an orphan, born in 1931, “Hana Brady”. This suitcase captured the imaginations of the children, so Ishioka found herself searching for more information about Han ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

HANA'S SUITCASE ON STAGE is the definitive version for those interested in reading this remarkable story for the first time. Containing both the original story, HANA'S SUITCASE, written by Karen Levine, and the play version by well-known playwright Emil Sher, this is a must-have for your keeper shelf.

HANA'S SUITCASE is the story (bestselling, I might add) of a suitcase that arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo in March of 2000. Written i
...more
Valerie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
L-Crystal Wlodek
Hana’s Suitcase has won many awards. It is recommended for students in grades 4-8. I listened to it in the form of an audio book. It is a true story when in March 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan. It read, Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, and Waisenkind, the German word for orphan. Everyone who saw the suitcase on display was full of questions and wanted the Holocaust education center director to find answers. In this audio book, the center director se ...more
Samantha Penrose
Fantastic.
I'll probably wait a few years before suggesting it to my 8 year old son, but it is a must read.

My favorite part,
When Hana's mother tells her two young children to be thankful for what they have(a big yard to play in, places to explore, each other), and to not be angry or upset about what has been taken from them(friends, freedom, going to school), This is what is said:

Hana and George were grateful to have each other and they did play together, but it didn't make them feel any better a
...more
Deyanne
Nice juxtaposition between Czechoslovakia 1900's and Japan current day. Very readable. Engaging element of holocaust focus (unknown details and facts) with contemporary researching and a tender human portrayal. There are some wonderful, caring people in the world who make an effort to make this a better place for all of us.
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19654
Karen Levine is a prizewinning producer with CBC Radio. She worked for many years on CBC programs including As It Happens, The Sunday Edition and This Morning as producer of the “First Person Singular” series. Karen has won awards for her radio work, including two Peabody Awards(the Oscars of radio). Levine originally produced Hana’s Suitcase as a radio documentary and later made it into a book. T ...more
More about Karen Levine...
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