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Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust
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Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  982 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
This unique introduction to the Holocaust encourages young children to stand up for what they think is right, without waiting for others to join them.

Ages 6 and up
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by The Jewish Publication Society (first published 1980)
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In simple words and pictures author Bunting, and illustrator Gammell have created a picture book evocative of both of the following famous quotes:

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Jan 03, 2013 Gina rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books to use with middleschoolers when teaching the Holocaust. We did this as a read aloud in all five of my classes today, and each time I finished, the room was silent- perfectly still in a very eerie but moving way. This is a book that when read to elementary students, they can explain that the bunny was trying to stand up for those being bullied, but 8th graders can take away so much more from it and explain the allegory itself. Definitely a book I'd recommend when wanting ...more
Jim Erekson
Jan 27, 2016 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, dark
Thanks for the recommendation, Matt! Stephen Gammell's illustrations added the same horror he brought to the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. Eve Bunting's simple allegory is all the more chilling for these dark illustrations. It might have been more subtle if it weren't so easy to see the terrible things for what they are, if they had been somehow disguised to look more normal or innocuous. The main discussion of why people don't act would be an interesting topic to bring up with kids. ...more
Madison Hannold
Jan 05, 2016 Madison Hannold rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story. I really liked how Eve Bunting used sybolism in the story. It was very interesting to see how she told a story about the Holocaust using different animals, and shadows called the terrible things. The animals were a good representation of the Jews, while the Terrible things were a good representation of the Germans. I also really enjoyed the ending, and how Bunting left the reader wondering that if everyone would have stood up in the beginning, could it have possibly ...more
Kieran Breen
Jan 06, 2016 Kieran Breen rated it really liked it
This book was interesting because it showed how you can't stick up for yourself. It also shows that you should question what is going on. For example if a senior is bullying a classmate, you should question why they did this. You should go together with the classmate and stand up to the bully. Just because the senior may seem to have the authority, it doesn't mean they can do anything they want. If everyone sticks together you can be able to stop the bully.
Riley Dawson
Jan 05, 2016 Riley Dawson rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4 stars. It deserves 4 stars in my opinion because it shows a very well representation of the Holocaust. It clearly explains to (older) kids how the Nazis came in and stole the Jews from their houses. How no one did anything until when it was all over the one little rabbit hid from the terrible things and then went to warn the others so they can go to a safer forest away from the terrible things.
Grace Coughlin
Jan 05, 2016 Grace Coughlin rated it liked it
This book was about a group of animals that lived peacefully until "The Terrible Things" started taking small groups of them one by one. Instead of sticking together and fighting off The Terrible Things, the animals started coming up with reasons that they were glad the groups were gone. This story is portrayed as a children's book but the real meaning behind it is about the Holocaust. Afterall, if the Jewish people stuck together to fight off Nazis, maybe more could have survived.
Mikayla Mcculley
Jan 06, 2016 Mikayla Mcculley rated it really liked it
I thought the book was good, but it didn't keep my interest like other books. The book seemed too rushed and at the end when it says that the little rabbit goes to the next town to see if anyone will listen to it, it does not make sense. They never mentioned before that any members of the forest tried to tell someone before the end of the story. The ending should have been worded more like the little rabbit went to the next town to see if anyone will believe it's tales of terrible things.
Tyler Schulz
Jan 05, 2016 Tyler Schulz rated it really liked it
If I had not known that this story was an allegory of the Holocaust, I would have been able to figure it out. Little clues, such as the Little Rabbit hiding under a rock, made me connect them to the terrible event in history. The story is a little scary, but sad at the same time knowing what it is referring to. Overall, I enjoyed the book and the feeling it emanated of "what's going to happen?"
Jan 05, 2016 Dalton rated it it was amazing
The reason I rated this book a 5 was because of the allegory. I liked how the author used animals to represent a tragic event that occurred in the past otherwise known as the holocaust. By using an allegory it made this violent event not so violent so that younger children are able to read this book and actually learn something from it.
Sophia Arredondo
Jan 05, 2016 Sophia Arredondo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Grigg
Jan 05, 2016 Amanda Grigg rated it really liked it
I thought this book gave a new perspective on the eyes of war. I really enjoyed how Bunting used animals instead of humans. I thought that was very unique. Even though it is a picture book I love that almost anyone any age can read it. That is what truly amazes me the most. Overall, I really liked the book.
Will Potter
Jan 06, 2016 Will Potter rated it it was amazing
The author's message about the Holocaust is quite clear in the story. When she talked about the Terrible Things coming and taking all the animals in the forest, she was talking about the Nazi's coming and taking all of the Jews. Also, when nobody stuck together and nobody helped each other out, they all got captured. This is like when the Jews got captured by the Nazi's during the Holocaust.
Chris Mollo
Jan 05, 2016 Chris Mollo rated it it was amazing
I think this story took the Holocaust and made it into a more bearable yet understandable story. It modified the terrors of the Nazis and told of how neighbors would look away as friends would be imprisoned. I enjoyed the book and liked how the animals had personalities similar to real humans. I would read this story again if I was aloud to.
Maurice Pearson
In this book, these things called the terrible things kidnapped all of the animals from some type of forest, and the little rabbit seems to be the only one to know that the terrible things are after all of the animals in the forest. (Based off of how the Nazis kidnapped the Jews, and put them into concentration camps)
Siyana Begey
Jan 05, 2016 Siyana Begey rated it really liked it
Before reading this book, I had already known a lot about the Holocaust. After hearing the story of The Terrible Things, however, I saw a whole new side of the horrible things that happened during World War 2. I would defiantly recommend this to anyone who likes the history of the Holocaust.
Lila Ernst
Jan 05, 2016 Lila Ernst rated it really liked it
I thought this book was interesting. I liked that it was a real thing that happened but with animals instead. The book was good and I liked how at least one animal survived. Overall I liked this book it was unique and might read it again.
Garrett Boskey
Jan 06, 2016 Garrett Boskey rated it really liked it
I liked the book a bit. It really gives a visual of how the Nazis took the victims of the Holocaust, but the story got too caught up in setting and not with the message. The message of the story is said in the last line and it is not developed.
Jan 05, 2016 Kittana rated it it was amazing
I really liked the way the author used simple creatures and simple things to tell such a complex story. Even if it didn't have any meaning hidden beneath the surface, I still would've thought it'd be a creative and enjoyable book.
Jacklyn Descano
I thought that this book was a great representation of the holocaust. Also, it makes it easier to understand what it was, exactly, that the Nazis did and how they were able to overpower their opponents.
Jan 05, 2016 Michiya rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it expresses the true thoughts of what people were thinking in the holocaust.I loved that the author used animals instead of people that she remembered because it makes you more interested in the story.
Jan 05, 2016 Ali rated it really liked it
I thought this book is a good way to introduce to Holocaust to anyone who wants to learn about it. It shows an example of the Holocaust was like by using animals with certain features such as feathers and bushy tails.
Clarence Ratkowiak
Jan 05, 2016 Clarence Ratkowiak rated it really liked it
I think the book the terrible things was a unique way to share to younger kids a story about what happened during the holocaust. I reaaly liked it and I think I learned more about the general thing that happened with the Nazi's and the Jews.
Emma Henjes
Jan 05, 2016 Emma Henjes rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
This is a "children's book" about World War 2. This book was very sad as the animals were people and the terrible things were nazi's. I understood what she was trying to say but I would not read this book to children.
Jason Blanda
Jan 05, 2016 Jason Blanda rated it really liked it
This book, although a picture book, housed many deeper meanings. In my opinion, it showed a great reflection of the Holocaust. It seemed to show insight to what most of the Jews were probably thinking.
Isabella Huhn
Jan 05, 2016 Isabella Huhn rated it really liked it
This story was interesting considering that there were conversations between different animals throughout the entire story. What made the story especially interesting were the events that occurred within each of the families.
Stephanie Matteo
Jan 05, 2016 Stephanie Matteo rated it really liked it
This book was really interesting. I really liked how they used the animals, and how their reactions were. I even liked how it was black and white. It really showed how scary and deep this book was going to be. I would recommend this even know all of you read it.
Maddy Sarchese
Jan 05, 2016 Maddy Sarchese rated it really liked it
I think this book was very interesting and well written. I like how the author uses the animals and terrible things to represent the holocaust. It is a great way to introduce the holocaust to someone.
Richard Davison
Jan 06, 2016 Richard Davison rated it really liked it
Terrible Things is a dark and fascinating story that I really enjoyed. It does a great job mirroring how it was like in Germany in world war 2. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a small story that relates to the holocaust.
Frankie M
Jan 07, 2016 Frankie M rated it liked it
I like how the animals represented the people of the Holocaust. I also liked the detail the author good detail in.
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Also known as Evelyn Bolton and A.E. Bunting.

Anne Evelyn Bunting, better known as Eve Bunting, is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “The
More about Eve Bunting...

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