The Girl Who Sang: A Holocaust Memoir of Hope and Survival

Roaring Brook. Jan. 2024. 272p. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781250247773.
Gr 7 Up–Enia loved her life with her family in their small Polish village before the war. It was home, it was safe, and she was free to run, play, and help her mother in the kitchen. On September 1, 1939, the dark clouds of war began to circle, and she felt the safe comforts of home being ripped away. The Girl Who Sang is a powerful story of survival where readers are given the privilege of following Enia’s life before, during, and after surviving the Holocaust, and in some ways, survival signaled only the beginning of Enia’s struggles. The illustrations tell Enia’s story in ways words cannot. Readers can immediately sense the range of Enia’s emotions in every situation, from joyous family celebrations to horrific trauma. Students with an interest in the Holocaust, especially the lives of survivors, will find this book vital to developing an understanding of the long-term effects on families. Educators who appreciate the richness of using biographies to teach history will find multiple opportunities for utilizing this title, especially in social studies courses. Although Enia is the main subject in her life story, there are many other figures whose perspectives enhance study of the Holocaust and its aftermath. An excellent accompaniment to lessons on World War II, this book will help countless students examine the Holocaust on a personal level.
VERDICT A must-have. The graphic novel format will appeal to those whose first choice might not be history or biography, and all others will be invited to consider the full-life experiences of Holocaust survivors.

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