Holocaust Education Week 2019

This year, Holocaust Education Week is being observed in Toronto from November 3-10, 2019. Their programs and workshops ensure that the next generation meaningfully learns about the Holocaust through best practices, resources, and engagement with survivor testimony. We’ve put together a list of books that may help bridge the gap for young readers.

PICTURE BOOKS

The Cat Who Lived With Anne Frank
By David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin
Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
ISBN 9781524741501 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Philomel Books
Told from the perspective of the cat who actually lived with Anne Frank in the famous Amsterdam annex, this poignant book paints a picture of a young girl who wistfully dreams of a better life for herself and her friends, tentatively wonders what mark she might leave on the world, and, above all, adamantly believes in the goodness of people.

MIDDLE GRADE

Broken Strings
By Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer
ISBN 9780735266247 | Hardcover
Ages 10-14 | Puffin Canada
It’s 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers — and the death of her beloved grandmother — Shirli Berman is intent on moving forward. The best singer in her junior high, she auditions for the lead role in Fiddler on the Roof, but is crushed to learn that she’s been given the part of the old Jewish mother in the musical rather than the coveted part of the sister. But there is an upside: her “husband” is none other than Ben Morgan, the cutest and most popular boy in the school. Deciding to throw herself into the role, she rummages in her grandfather’s attic for some props. There, she discovers an old violin in the corner — strange, since her Zayde has never seemed to like music, never even going to any of her recitals. Showing it to her grandfather unleashes an anger in him she has never seen before, and while she is frightened of what it might mean, Shirli keeps trying to connect with her Zayde and discover the awful reason behind his anger. A long-kept family secret spills out, and Shirli learns the true power of music, both terrible and wonderful.

How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of WWII London
By Deborah Hopkinson
ISBN 9780399557064 | Hardcover
Ages 8-12 | Knopf Books For Young Readers
Bertie Bradshaw never set out to become a spy. He never imagined traipsing around war-torn London, solving ciphers, practicing surveillance, and searching for a traitor to the Allied forces. He certainly never expected that a strong-willed American girl named Eleanor would play Watson to his Holmes (or Holmes to his Watson, depending on who you ask). But when a young woman goes missing, leaving behind a coded notebook, Bertie is determined to solve the mystery. With the help of Eleanor and his friend David, a Jewish refugee–and, of course, his trusty pup, Little Roo–Bertie must decipher the notebook in time to stop a double agent from spilling the biggest secret of all to the Nazis.

White Bird: A Wonder Story
By R.J. Palacio
ISBN 9780525645535 | Hardcover
Ages 8-12 | Knopf Books For Young Readers
In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. Here, Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère’s heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II; how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend.

YOUNG ADULT

What the Night Sings
By Vesper Stamper
ISBN 9781524700386 | Hardcover
Ages 12+ | Knopf Books For Young Readers
After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and on to living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak
ISBN 9781101934180 | Hardcover
Ages 12+ | Knopf Books For Young Readers
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

The Red Ribbon
By Lucy Adlington
ISBN 9780763680176 | Paperback
Ages 12+ | Candlewick Press
Three weeks after being detained on her way home from school, fourteen-year-old Ella finds herself in the Upper Tailoring Studio, a sewing workshop inside a Nazi concentration camp. There, two dozen skeletal women toil over stolen sewing machines. They are the seamstresses of Birchwood, stitching couture dresses for a perilous client list: wives of the camp’s Nazi overseers and the female SS officers who make prisoners’ lives miserable. It is a workshop where stylish designs or careless stitches can mean life or death. And it is where Ella meets Rose. As thoughtful and resilient as the dressmakers themselves, Rose and Ella’s story is one of courage, desperation, and hope — hope as delicate and as strong as silk, as vibrant as a red ribbon in a sea of gray.

The Extra
By Kathryn Lasky
ISBN 9780735266247 | Hardcover
Ages 12+ | Candlewick Press
In this chilling but ultimately uplifting novel, Kathryn Lasky imagines the lives of the Romani—called the “Gypsy Plague” by the Nazis—who worked as extras for Hitler’s real favorite filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Fifteen-year-old Lilo and the other extras are barely fed, closely guarded, and kept in a locked barn when not on the movie set. And Riefenstahl is always present, answering the slightest provocation with malice, flaunting the power to assign prisoners to life or death. When faced with a rare opportunity, Lilo takes matters into her own hands, effecting an escape and running for her life, giving readers a story of survival unlike any other.

Playing for the Commandant
By Suzy Zail
ISBN 9780763664039 | Hardcover
Ages 12+ | Candlewick Press
“Look after each other . . . and get home safe. And when you do, tell everyone what you saw and what they did to us.” These are Hanna’s father’s parting words to her and her sister when their family is separated at the gates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Her father’s words — and a black C-sharp piano key hidden away in the folds of her dress — are all that she has left to remind her of life before. Before, Hanna was going to be a famous concert pianist. She was going to wear her yellow dress to a dance. And she was going to dance with a boy. But then the Nazis came. Now it is up to Hanna to do all she can to keep her mother and sister alive, even if that means playing piano for the commandant and his guests. Staying alive isn’t supposed to include falling in love with the commandant’s son. But Karl Jager is beautiful, and his aloofness belies a secret. And war makes you do dangerous things.

Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein
ISBN 9780385676571 | Paperback
Ages 12+ | Doubleday Canada
Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during the Second World War. One is a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat; one is a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly, and before long they are devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity’s” own words, as she writes her account for her captors.

Meow! Today is national cat day!

Celebrate national cat day by feline fine and checking out a good story. Here is the purrfect list for cat-lovers of all ages!

PICTURE BOOKS

how to give your cat a bathHow to Give Your Cat a Bath
in Five Easy Steps

By Nicola Winstanley
Illustrated by John Martz
ISBN 9780735263543 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing any of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath – it’s the whole house!

miss minkMiss Mink
Life Lessons for a Cat Countess

By Janet Hill
ISBN 9781770499225 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
This whimsical collection of twenty cat-approved life lessons for living your purrfect life is accompanied by gorgeous, lushly detailed paintings.

princess puffybottom and darrylPrincess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
ISBN 9781101919255 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
Princess Puffybottom has the perfect life – her subjects serve her delicious meals, clean up her “delicate matters” and wait on her hand and foot. Life is good . . . until Darryl arrives. Princess Puffybottom thinks he’s disgusting, horrid and a true animal. Though she tries everything in her power to banish him (including hypnosis, trickery and even sabotage), it looks like this puppy is here to stay. Can Princess P. and Darryl find a way to co-exist?

Copy CatCopy Cat
By Ali Pye
ISBN 9780763699352 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Nosy Crow
Bella loves Anna. In fact, Bella loves Anna so much that she wants to be just like her and copies every single thing she does. Finally Anna decides she’s had enough of Bella being such a copycat! What is Bella going to do? With an adorable troupe of colorful kittens and vibrant illustrations, this author-illustrator debut from rising star Ali Pye is a lighthearted look at playground friendships and finding your own way.

The Cat Who Lived with Anne FrankThe Cat Who Lived With Anne Frank
By David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin
Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
ISBN 9781524741501 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Philomel Books
Told from the perspective of the cat who actually lived with Anne Frank in the famous Amsterdam annex, this poignant book paints a picture of a young girl who wistfully dreams of a better life for herself and her friends, tentatively wonders what mark she might leave on the world, and, above all, adamantly believes in the goodness of people.

The Cat BookThe Cat Book: A minibombo Book
By Silvia Borando
ISBN 9780763694722 | Hardcover
Ages 2-5 | Candlewick Press
Who’s that, curled in a ball? Call out his name to wake him! Now turn the page and see him give a big stretch, waiting for you to pat him. Purr, purr, purr. Aww. But what’s that? Fleas! Quick, squish them with your finger! As this pampered cat’s day progresses, readers will have their hands full, acting as umbrella and towel and even clapping their hands loudly to save a bird . . . oh no!

Ghost CatGhost Cat
By Kevan Atteberry
ISBN 9780823442836 | Hardcover
Ages 3-6 | Neal Porter Books
There’s something oddly familiar about this ghost cat – it does lots of things that remind the boy of the cat he used to have. The boy’s not sure why the ghost cat never stays for more than a few moments, or why the ghost cat has visited him in the first place. He follows the ghost cat all over his house, until finally it leads him to something new and wonderful.

Professor Astro Cats StargazingProfessor Astro Cat’s Stargazing
By Dr. Dominic Walliman
Illustrated by Ben Newman
ISBN 9781912497836 | Hardcover
Ages 5-7 | Flying Eye Books
In this new addition to the bestselling science series, we learn all about the stars in our universe, including our own sun! From scientific discoveries to the constellations dreamed up by humans centuries ago, the adventurous and wise Professor Astro Cat will guide young readers through fascinating facts.

Bad DogBad Dog
By Mike Boldt
ISBN 9781984847973 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Cat lovers and dog lovers alike will howl with laughter at this little girl’s willful insistence that her cat is a dog. The hilarious ways in which cats and dogs are different are brilliantly illuminated with each turn of the page and will leave young readers and their grown-ups giggling.

There Are No Bears in This BakeryThere Are No Bears in this Bakery
By Julia Sarcone-Roach
ISBN 9780399556654 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
A tough gumshoe of a cat–the name’s Muffin–protects his territory: The Little Bear Bakery. But there are no bears here. Not on Muffin’s watch. One night, Muffin hears a suspicious noise. Mouse? Raccoon? Bat? Nope, not the usual suspects. But Muffin hears . . . growling. Could it be? Yup. A bear. Just a cub. Whose stomach is definitely growling. Muffin’s got this case solved–clearly this bear needs some donuts.

Maya and the Lost CatMaya and the Lost Cat
By Caroline Magerl
ISBN 9781536204230 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Candlewick Press
Where does Cat live, and who can lead the way there? A lyrical, charmingly offbeat tale about wanderlust and family, rescue and finding home. What will lure Cat down? Feather boas? Pretty pink shoelaces? A boatful of fish under a tiny tin sail?

Peg and Cat - The PuddlePeg + Cat: The Puddle
By Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
ISBN 9781536206982 | Trade Paperback
Ages 3-7 | Candlewick Entertainment
A rainy day in the park has Peg and Cat singing, dancing, and measuring puddles to find out which ones are perfect for jumping in. Splash! Peg jumps right in, but Cat isn’t so sure. Just how deep is that water, anyway? If only they had some way to measure how far down the puddles go!

CHAPTER BOOKS

megabat and fancy catMegabat and Fancy Cat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
ISBN 9780735262591 | Hardcover
Ages 7-10 | Tundra Books
Megabat returns, this time with a new nemesis: a very fancy cat. Can our tiny bat hero stop his Daniel’s heart from being stolen by this nefarious, fluffy villain?

The Adventures of Miss Petitfours - paperbackThe Adventures of Miss Petitfour
By Anne Michaels
Illustrated by Emma Block
ISBN 9780735263222 | Trade Paperback
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles.

Klawde Evil Alien Warlord CatKlawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat
By Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth
Illustrated by Robb Mommaerts
ISBN 9781524787202 | Hardcover
Ages 8-12 | Penguin Workshop
Klawde is not your average cat. He’s an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He’s cruel. He’s cunning. He’s brilliant… and he’s about to become Raj Banerjee’s best friend. Whether he likes it or not.

Timmy Failure - The Cat Stole My PantsTimmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants
By Stephan Pastis
ISBN 9781536209099 | Trade Paperback
Ages 8-12 | Candlewick Press
Timmy is in Key West, Florida, ostensibly for the honeymoon of his mother and Doorman Dave — if they even got married, which Timmy doubts. Unfortunately for Timmy, crime doesn’t take a vacation. And because Total has fled to Cuba seeking political asylum, Timmy must rely on a new partner for help: Doorman Dave’s nephew Emilio. Meanwhile, a surprise newcomer shows up in Timmy’s life and, as if things couldn’t get more hectic, Timmy’s pants have been stolen by a six-toed cat.

NON-FICTION

Cat Science UnleashedCat Science: Unleashed
Fun activities to do with your feline friend

By Jodi Wheeler-Toppen
ISBN 9781426334412 | Trade Paperback
Ages 8-12 | National Geographic Children’s Books
Unleash the power of science! Have fun with 22 safe and cat-friendly activities that let you work alongside your cat to discover what makes her tick. Learn how catnip affects your kitty and how she can see so well in the dark. Find out what kind of toys your cat loves by making a feather flyer. How does your cat balance so well and always land on all fours? Each activity is paired with step-by-step instructions, clear and interesting scientific explanations, and cool photographs shot specifically for this book.