The Year of Goodbyes
This book tells the true story of what happened to a 12-year-old girl named Jutta (Debbie Levy’s mother) in 1938. Actual entries in a posiealbum (autograph book) serve as stepping stones in a crucial year in history, when people of Jewish ancestry in Germany and Austria were systematically stripped of their rights, subjected to violence, and arrested without cause. Jutta w...more
One of the few cherished items Jutta was able to bring with her was her posiealbum, or poe...more
This book is good, and it is interesting. It's a little light on information, though. There are copies of the actual written pages of the author's mother's posie album, written during WWII in Germany. There are also a few pages from the mother's own diary.
The text portions of it, though, are written by the author as an interpretation of conversations she had with her mother about what happened. It kind of bothered me that it was not the mother's own words, and...more
"Father used to say, 'Things will get better.' He doesn't say that anymore."
The things children think about as they mourn the loss of their normal lives -- "Who will get my roller skates?" -- will help young readers understand and feel the losses of even those who lived.
"We are here in America. This will be home now. No Na...more
Using her mother's poesiealbum as a springboard, the author opens each chapter with an entry from the "poetry album," an autograph book filled with poetry and drawings from friends, the very friends she was leaving behind as her family fled to America.
This candid look at a 12 year old's life in an ever changing country will leave readers feeling sad, yet happy a...more
I liked learning from this perspective. I also loved that the book was written in a journal where all of her friends write goodbye notes and advice and the...more
Very similar in topic to Is it Night or Day?, this is another Holocaust novel that follows a story that I feel I haven't heard before. Jutta was fortunate to escape from Germany, but the narrative also touched on many of her friends and f...more
The book is well researched and tells you what happened to a lot of the girl's friends and family. It was so sad in some ways, but made me want to be...more
It brought dimension to the refugee experience. It shows how things built up to what they became. Loved it.
Debbie Levy has expanded in free verse upon the poesiealbum her mother kept as a young Jewish girl in Germany in 1938. Chilling to read that her mother and her family barely made it out of Hamburg before the Nazis raided their apartment, and to see in the endnotes that several of the young women who'd written little quotes in the poesiealbum and died in Auschwitz. The personal connection to the story makes this book all the more powerful.
Levy and her mother, Jutta, use the entries in the poesiealbum and entries from Jutta's diary - each page reproduced with a translation and...more