My Chocolate Year by Charlotte Herman

My Chocolate Year I was drawn to this book because it has CHOCOLATE in the title and on the cover. How could I resist that? At first it just seemed like an innocent, sweet story (no pun intended) about a Jewish girl, in fifth grade, living in Chicago right after WWII. The adults in the family discuss missing relatives in Europe while Dorrie looks forward to the end of the school year when she must bring in a dessert for a competition called “Sweet Semester.” I particularly enjoyed the end of the book when Victor, a 16-year-old relative, is brought to America to live with Dorrie and her family. He is the only one of his family that survived WWII in Germany. There are enough details for children to understand but never gets overhanded or heavy. The ending was very moving, and brought tears to my eyes. It was a beautiful, surprising little slice of life, a glimpse at a Jewish family in the 1940’s. I would read this or recommend this to children who are studying WWII. Anyone who is Jewish would also particularly enjoy it, though you do not have to be Jewish to appreciate it. I liked that recipes are included throughout the book. I also appreciated the Author’s Note at the back of the book that provides more insight into life during this time.

Posted by Michelle

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