Three stories told, three countries represented, and three lives profiled.  Despite the years that separate them, the trinity of humanity featured in Alan Gratz’s novel Refugee experience remarkable and horrifying similarities with intersecting conclusions. Imagine feeling unwanted, dirty, and illegal.   Imagine hearing sirens, soldiers, shouting, gunfire, breaking glass, and screams daily.  Imagine thinking that if you want to live, you have to leave your homeland and all that is familiar.  These are the realities of three refugees and their families: Josef Landau, a barely thirteen Jewish boy living in Germany in 1939 under the reign of Adolph Hitler; Isabel Fernandez, a pre-teen Cuban citizen enduringRead More →

Set in 1939-1943 in occupied Poland, Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit tells the difficult story of growing up during the Second World War, a time rife with barking dogs, tank invasions, bullying soldiers, fiery sacrifices, and other acts of hate and genocide.  In 1939, Germans occupied Kraków with the sole purpose of purging the city of its intellectuals and its academics.  As Germany pushed in from the west, the Soviets closed in on the east.  The occupation of Poland has been called one of the darkest chapters in the history of World War II since it marked the beginning of the Jewish Holocaust when almostRead More →