Kristen's Reviews > Yellow Star
May 02, 2009
A historical fiction novel based on a true story, this book follows the story of a young girl, Sylvia, who was one of only 12 children to survive from the Lodz Ghetto during World War II. 4 ½ when her family was forced to move into the ghetto, Sylvia experienced a series of miracles that preserved her throughout the war. The book describes the difficult conditions of the Jewish families with little to eat and almost no heat in the wintertime. Compared to the Diary of Anne Frank which can be long and hard to get through for some students, as well as questionable in a few places, this novel really captures the Holocaust experience, especially from a child’s perspective. I would absolutely use this in the classroom. It would be a great way to introduce the history of Ghettos, death camps, and Holocaust conditions without going into too much explicit detail which may be upsetting for some younger students. The other thing that I loved about this book is that it is written in a poetry-type form all the way through. This would be an excellent book to use to talk about the effect of style, line breaks, and choice of punctuation. There are several places in this book where there is repetition of phrases or words right in a row, which has a powerful affect on the meaning. This would also be a great book to use to discuss how the author uses sentence structure and word choice to create the voice of a child in her writing. The beginning of each chapter has a summary of the actual history in the Lodz Ghetto, which is a great way to address the history of the holocaust in an interesting way, since it is followed by the fictional account of what that period of history was like in the ghetto. This book jumped up to one of my favorites. I would definitely recommend it!
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