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Erika's Story

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  373 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
A Jewish woman recounts how her mother was able to spare her from the horrors of the Holocaust as an infant.
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Creative Editions (first published 2003)
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Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it

Em nota introdutória de 'A História de Erika', obra que agora é editada pela segunda vez pela Kalandraka, a autora do livro esclarece aos leitores: «Em 1995, passados cinquenta anos do fim da Segunda Guerra Mundial, conheci a protagonista desta história.»

«No seu caminho para a morte, a minha mãe lançou-me para a vida.»
Μαρία Γεωργιάδου
Τουλάχιστον θα μπορούσαν στο εξώφυλλο να βάλουν το άστρο του Δαυίδ αντί για πεντάλφα. -_-
Ruth Vander Zee erzählt die Geschichte einer Frau, die sie auf einer Europareise in Rothenburg o. T. getroffen hat oder getroffen haben könnte. Es ist das Schicksal eines Kindes, das als Säugling vor dem Holocaust gerettet und von Fremden aufgezogen werden konnte, weil seine Mutter das Babybündel aus dem fahrenden Zug warf, der sie selbst in ein Konzentrationslager brachte. Das Findelkind, das seine Pflegeeltern - allein durch seine Existenz - in Gefahr brachte, bekam einen Vornamen, es wurde ge ...more
Maria Carmo
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This very short book tells the story of a baby saved from the train rolling towards a concentration camp, by a desperate Mother who threw the baby out... It was found and raised by a woman with a good heart. The main feature of this book is the magnificent set of illustrations.

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon 9 June 2015.
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This simple but powerful book tells the story of a Jewish woman who survived the holocaust by being thrown from a cattle car bound for a concentration camp as an infant, and was rescued and brought up by a village woman. "On her way to death, my mother threw me to life". The illustrations are amazing too. This book brought me to tears.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book caught my eye because Robert Innocenti also wrote Rose Blanche. This is a very quick read, but the true story of a woman whose mother saved her life by throwing her from a train on the way to the camps.
Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
Okay for a young children's story. Way over simplified.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Erika's Story is about a Holocaust survivor, however she knows of very little from that time. Her parents were loaded onto rail cars like cattle. There was talk of death camps, but they weren't certain. As they spent more and more time on the train, Erika says her mother and father must have been brave, because they threw their tiny baby from the train. They threw her to freedom. A woman scooped Erika up and raised her like her own child. She gave her a birth date and a name. Erika married at 21 ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, moving story about surviving the Holocaust. What did a mother and father think as they traveled in the cattle car? What could they do to save their daughter? Simple statements detail the horror and sadness of the event, and the will to survive. The illustrations add to the story with the profound use of sepia tones that are transformed on the last page as the narrator realizes her family tree continues to grow, and her "star still shines."

Highly recommend as a read aloud for any units
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-in-libreria
Era il 1995, cinquanta anni esatti dalla fine della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, quando incontrai la donna protagonista di questa storia. Con queste parole l'autrice Ruth Vander Zee introduce questo magnifico, lancinante racconto.
Jennifer B.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful and chilling (TRUE) story. Gorgeously illustrated, as to be expected from Roberto Innocenti. I just felt it was a bit short and didn't have to be so sparse. Definitely something everyone should take the time to read, though!
Alicia Snyder
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple, touching, and heart-wrenching true story.
Angela Ball
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very short, but definitely to the point! A powerful read. Stunning illustrations.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful in it's simplicity, told in a way that will encourage younger readers to start to investigate more depth behind the sparse details. Fanrastic imagery.
Jill Sanders
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: print
This inspiring fist person point-of-view story is about a woman telling the author how she was saved by her mother as an infant during World War II. Her mother threw her out of the train, onto a patch of grass, as a couple was waiting for the train to pass. The couple immediately took her in and nurtured the child. The little girl grew up wondering what had happened to her parents and where they went. She never will know her true birth date, how many family members she had, her real birth name, ...more
Lori Nakagawa
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Again, I'm not altogether sure how I feel about the topic of Holocaust stories for very young children, I guess it is that I want to shelter them until they are older. But I do like the idea of these books as introductions to topics for older students. This is a simply told story with so many layers to it. It is also beautifully illustrated by Roberto Innocenti in a photorealism style.
Nadia Gonzalez
Summary: Erika's Story by Ruth Vander Zee is book about a true story told to the author by Erika. The author Ruth, met Erika during a trip to Germany fifty years after World War II. As the two women were talking Ruth noticed that Erika was wearing the Star of David around a gold chain and began to to tell her about her stay in Israel. Here Erika begins her story. Erika's story is composed of a series of question because she has very little information to go on. As she tells her story she specula ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A través de estos múltiples interrogantes, recorremos los sentimientos y los paisajes que han marcado su historia, una historia triste y desoladora que empieza con la tragedia de la muerte y el abandono y se convierte en un canto de esperanza y optimismo hacia el futuro. Se trata de un libro pensado para niños, gracias a la prosa sencilla y directa de Ruth Vander Zee, que recuerda a las narraciones orales, y a las maravillosas imágenes que hablan
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Erika’s Story is a powerful true account of a baby girl that was saved from being sent to a concentration camp by her mother’s desperate act of throwing her from a moving train. Knowing that her daughter’s future was a guaranteed terrible end, her mother choose to risk uncertainty and allow her daughter a chance at life. Thankfully kind people found the baby and raised her as their own, named her Erika and told her the only thing they knew about her past. Erika has only been able to speculate ab ...more
Nov 23, 2011 rated it liked it
When Erika was just a baby, her and her family were taken away to concentration camps, where they will die. Erika didn't remember much but there were a few things she remembered. She remembered when they were getting on the train, everyone was squished in and they locked it up. And she remember the next day when her mom threw her out the window of the train so she will survive. Then someone picked her up and raised her, she was named Erika, and that is her story.
I didn't pick this book up, Mr.G
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
PB #14: I thought this was an extremely powerful and well-written children's book. It was written simple enough for a child to understand, but for adults, it is probably much more clear what exactly is going on in reference to the Holocaust. I think the author did a wonderful job relating her true story back to history and at the same time enlightening younger kids on the Holocaust (that's the beauty of historical fiction-ish genres!). The illustrations go perfectly with the story and really evo ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about the Erika's life and how she imagined her parents were like. Erika is jewish but she was brought up not like a jewish person because when she was small her parents were sent to a concentration camp and on the train her parents threw her out of the window of the train and she was saved by a woman. And this book is a ahort summary of Erika's life.
I read this book because it was an assignement for school.
I finished this book because I had to in order to find out what was the them
John Stanton
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this story. However, the edition I have has a much more powerful cover. Instead of the 5-pointed star cut out, it has the much more deeply symbolic six-pointed Star of David cut out of it. I think that the alternative 5-pointed star edition takes away some of the power of the cover. After all, what does a 5-pointed star have to do with anything? The symbolism is completely meaningless. I had to search high and low to get the 6-pointed one, which is far more meaningful to t ...more
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up on a whim while looking for pictures books I could use in my classroom to introduce tough issues related to the Holocaust. Although short, with only about 10 pages of straight-forward typed narration, the questions it raises are the same questions we might ask about anyone transported to the work/death camps. Erika's heartbreaking story of how her life was saved brought tears to my eyes instantly. There's no gore, no terror, nothing too terrible for school-aged students, al ...more
RLL520_ColeenDuPuy Dupuy
Erika's Story is a beautiful piece of historical fiction told through text and detailed pictures about a little girl saved during the Holocaust. While on a train, Erika as a baby, was thrown from a train by her mother in attempt to save her from her fate in a concentration camp. Erika grows up wondering about her story, who her parents were, did she have siblings, etc. This is a great book for both young and older readers who are studying the Holocaust. It's a great book for stimulating discussi ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust
It haunts me to think of Erika's questions regarding her blood family. I can't imagine the heart-wrenching pain the decision was met with to throw a baby from a cattle car to hopefully be saved, to have a life knowing your end would be brutally met at the train's final stop, to realize that you would never know or share your beloved child's future, and to surrender all control of that baby with the knowledge of no guarantee for her future! To only hold an inkling of hope that she would survive, ...more
Mia Balsamo
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebook
PB46: My teacher cried while she read this picturebook to our class. It such an incredible story that I think would touch the heart of anyone who reads it. This story is about the ultimate sacrifice, and it gives a very powerful perspective on how difficult the Holocaust was for everyone, and how everyone was forced to make decisions and sacrifices that they did not necessarily wish to make. I think this would be a great introduction, or conclusion story for a teacher discussing the Holocaust. I ...more
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jamil by: Loren Scully
Shelves: picture-books
Often, you might think that certain human tragedies (the holocaust, slavery, 9-11) have been mined for all their narrative worth by now, that the story's has already been told, ad nauseum. I was so seduced by the starkness and clarity of the images, that I was completely taken by surprise by that moment, when Erika's Story took flight from my expectations. Nicely designed, well-told - a surprisingly good picture book.
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-holocaust
An interesting story about what it would of and could of happened to many. Erika a Jew who escapes the Holocaust when her mother throws her out of the train window on the way to a concentration camp in the hope her daughter will live and find a family....... to escape the fate of a Jew. Another book about the horrors of war but instead told by a Jewish woman. My English teacher read this too the class since we're learning about the Holocaust before we started Hana's Suitcase.
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Mansfield Public ...: Erika's Story Review by Lisa Smey-Adams 1 1 Jul 25, 2013 11:02AM  
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