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The Promise

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The night that Rachel and Toby's parents are taken away by the Nazis, they give their daughters three gold coins. "Use these wisely to help save your lives," they tell them. They also ask the girls to promise that they will always stay together.

This compelling true story follows the girls as they confront the daily horrors of Auschwitz, protecting one another, sharing memo
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 18th 2018 by Second Story Press
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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[Shai] Bibliophage
The Promise is a children’s storybook written by Pnina Bat Zvi and Margie Wolfe, and illustrated by Isabelle Cardinal. It is about the true story of two sisters, Toby and Rachel, who got imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. It is a given fact that the Holocaust period is one of the dreadful events in the history of mankind, and even young kids were the victim of this atrocity.
The Promise
Toby and Rachel’s story, and their pledge to each other to always together be brilliantly narrated in this b
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
On the night that the Nazis took all the adults in their town away, sisters Rachel and Toby are separated from their parents but not before they are given a shoe paste tin with three gold coins in it. Not knowing what is going to happen to them, they are told to use the coins only if they have to, that they would know when the time was right. And most importantly, they must promise to try to always stay together.

Two years later, the sisters are now in Barrack 25 in Auschwitz, along with many oth
A harrowing story about two sisters who vow to their mother to try to stay together no matter what in Auschwitz. Mother gives them gold coins in case of an emergency. The youngest gets sick and is sent to a sick barracks where people disappear and never came back. The older sister decides to use the coins to bribe her way into the dick barracks.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the traditions, in Judaism, is to retell the story. This is especially true of the Holocaust. The people who survived it are dying off, as it gets further and further away from the present generation. The stories we are hearing now, are those that are being told by their children and grandchildren. It is good that there is some witness, even though it is once or even twice removed.

You might think we have had enough stories of the holocaust, be they novels or picture books, but each story
"The Promise" shares both a heartbreaking story when one sees how people, this time children, were treated in the concentration camps, but it’s also a heartwarming true story of how one promise to stay together was made by two sisters and carried out in the face of terrible danger. Before their parents were taken away, they gave the eldest, Toby, three gold coins hidden in a shoe paste tin. And, they asked them to promise to stay together always. In Auschwitz, those who fell ill and could not s ...more
Damaris Tonner
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
The Promise is a wonderful read, perfect for introducing young children to the reality of the Holocaust. Put beside beautiful illustrations, it would capture the attention of any young reader. There is always a fine balance between too much and not enough in children's fiction about delicate subjects such as the Holocaust, but The Promise is masterfully handled and toes that balance marvellously. The icing on the cake is that this was based on a true story!

Thank you to Net Galley and Second Stor
Miss Jenny
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is an excerpt of a review was originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's Classroom

Rachel and Toby are left three gold coins in a tin by their parents who they never see again. Forced into a the Auschwitz concentration camp the girls make a promise to stay together always. Then Rachel becomes sick and is taken away. Toby must decide on her own what she must do next

I'm going to start off by commenting on the illustrations because that's what's at the front of my mind. The illustrations
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This title is nominated for the 2020 Hackmatack Award in the non-fiction category. Based on the true story of sisters Toby and Rachel and their experience at Auschwitz concentration camp, this picture book feels like it is a little bit light compared to other books I have read in past years. In fact, I came across another review which mentioned that the target audience is ages 7-10 (Hackmatack is for kids ages 9-12). It might seem young to kids at the older end of the hackmatack scale, HOWEVER d ...more
*thank you to Netgalley and Second Story Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.
This is the first children's picture book based on the Holocaust and Auschwitz that I've seen and read. To write and illustrate a book such as this for children needs to be done well and right. I believe that given the horrendous and emotional topic, there is a fine line between just how much to mention to such a young audience, but this story was very well told. It focused on the love
Based on a true story of sibling love and loyalty and the importance of a promise, this picture book even features photographs of the real-life sisters who somehow survived the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. All Rachel and Toby have of their parents is three gold coins secreted in a shoe paste tin and the admonition to use them only when they must. When Rachel becomes ill and is moved from the barracks where the girls are staying, Toby comes up with a plan to rescue her siste ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
First sentence: Rachel pulled herself out of her happy dream. In her sleep she was free to be with her friends and go to school. But now, the gong announced the beginning of another day in Auschwitz prison camp.

Premise/plot: Toby and Rachel are sisters held together by love and a promise: to stay together no matter what. Can these two sisters keep that promise even in Auschwitz? Is the promise worth risking everything for?

My thoughts: What an emotional story! The Promise is a nonfiction pictu
Michelle Kidwell
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The Promise
by Pnina Bat Zvi and Margie Wolfe, illustrated by Isabelle Cardinal
Second Story Press

Children's Nonfiction
Pub Date 18 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of The Promise through Second Story Press and Netgalley:

The night Rachel and Toby's parents were taken away their parents gave them three gold coins with the instructions use them to help save lives. They also ask the girls to promise they will stay together forever (because they have a better chance of surviving together.

This is a compell
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Promise by Pnina Zvi and Margie Wolfe, illustrated by Isabelle Cardinal. PICTURE BOOK. Second Story Press, 2018. $19. 9781772600582

Before Toby and Rachel’s parents were taken away by the German soldiers, they slipped a small tin can with three gold coins hidden in it to Toby, telling her she would know when to use them. The girls are taken to Auschwitz, where they managed to stay together until Rachel gets sick. Toby will need those three coins to save her sister’s life.

Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Children's books about the Holocaust are difficult. They deal with a complex, horrific topic and it is only natural that they might be darker in nature as were the experiences of the people during this time period that the books share. This book has been recommended for kids in 2nd - 8th grade. For younger readers, I would definitely say that it is a book that should be read with someone knowledgable about what happened during this period so the readers can process this and have questions answer ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four stars for a quick read for the under-twelves concerning two sisters in Auschwitz, and the legacy that will help them stay together. It clearly benefits from being a true story, told with heartfelt compassion, and it's also commendable that all the characters are female, from the heroic sisters down to the guards. What I took issue with was the artwork - yes, I know it's an ugly place, and all the people in there were dehumanised, but did the collage effect have to make everyone so unpleasan ...more
Denise Hershberger
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an incredibly sad story told by family members of the sisters portrayed in the story. But it is a story that needs to be told and it was kept simple enough for an elementary child to learn about the Holocaust without being too traumatized.

I loved the importance of the sisterhood in the book. I also loved the camaraderie among the women in the camp. The horrors they lived through were awful but it is nice to hear family stories told where the friendships lasted through the terrible time
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a heartwarming little tale about love. A simple message about love that it never fails during difficult time. Great story but I think the illustration is a little creepy but the text is excellent: simple yet powerful, poignant and sublime.

A great introductory book to children about Nazi, concentration camps and Holocaust.

E-gallery is provided by Second Story Press via Netgallery. Second Story Press continues to deliver high quality reading materials for both adults and children. This is a
Brooklyn Cribdon
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I read & evaluated this book for the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable (VCLR)'s 2019 Information Book Award.

What a beautiful story. I was a tad confused though regarding the sources of information. It seems the author was told this story by their mother, and a photograph of the sisters is included in the epilogue but there is no indication of the source of the photo. The mixed media illustrations were neat, but also felt a bit "off."
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2nd-grade-and-up
I love book about the Holocause and feel that it is an important topic to understand and discuss. This book was an amazing story, but it was told in such a blunt way that it did not engage me as a reader. I also was not fond of the illustrations. I couldn't tell if the illustrator was trying to engage actual photography with the drawings, but it didn't appeal to me much.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story about sisters sacrificing and risking their lives for each other in a Nazi prison camp. Unlike many Nazi stories, this one had a hopeful ending. Being a sister, the ending brought shivers and tears to my eyes. The end shows a picture of the real sisters from the book.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The true story of two sisters who face the dangers of Auschwitz. When the worst thing possible happens, Rachel becomes sick, the girls are separated. Toby risks a secret and her life to save her sister. Delicately told, this is a story of war and courage and love.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really beautiful book and interesting story line but I found the illustrations a little strange and the ending I felt was very rushed. But I do believe it is a good book to read and is a very dense book that contains very deep morals.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Short story/picture book written for children (and based on a true story) set during the holocaust. Hard hitting topic told in a very accessible way for littlies, although not TOO little because of said topic! Ugh, the illustrations though. I'm sorry, just ugly and jarring :(
Stacy Wempe
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
What a great book to introduce the concentration camps of the Holocaust without traumatizing young kids! My 6 yo daughter loves this book and my 4 yo son was asking questions that really opened up their eyes to history. It is a sweet story and one worth adding to your collection!
Originally published in Canada.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, kids
There are so many stories about Auschwitz, and this one, like all of the others, is incredibly moving. The way these two sisters stay together, and the love they have for each other is incredible.
Incredible story, but I did not like the art at all. The oversized heads combined with realistic bodies in particular.
I didn't really feel like children would understand the story. It seemed a little too complicated for an 8 year old. I didn't really love the illustrations. This one was just okay.
Ki Ki
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 10-30
historical fiction
Edward Sullivan
A poignant, sophisticated true story about two sisters in Auschwitz who manage to keep the promise they make to their parents to never be separated.
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