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Ages: 9-13

Reading Levels

Guided Reading Level: Z

We Are Their Voice

Young People Respond to the Holocaust

Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers

by: Kathy Kacer

Do young people today find meaning in the Holocaust?

This question prompted a writing project that brought heartfelt responses from students from across North America and abroad. Their voices – in the form of letters, essays, poems, and art – provide amazing answers and a hope for a more peaceful and tolerant future.

“We can prevent history from repeating itself by never forgetting our past.”
– Jocelyn Toupin, grade 7

“The Holocaust was a very dark period of history that should not and cannot be forgotten. If it is, then something like bullying, which can be seen by some as harmless, if left unchecked, could lead to similar disasters.”
– Rebecca Howie, grade 8

“I am writing you this letter now, not because my teacher, mother, friends, or family told me to, but because my heart did.”
– from a letter written to Anne Frank’s father Otto Frank, by Rachel Meyerovitz, grade 8

“When they are gone, we are their voice”
– Ori Berman, grade 8

Kathy Kacer travels widely talking about the importance of remembering our history. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, she has written many award-winning books about the Holocaust, including To Hope and Back: The Journey of the St. Louis, The Diary of Laura’s Twin, Hiding Edith, and The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser. Kathy Kacer created this project with educators Karen Kasny, Alan Gotlib, Susan Gordin, and Shawntelle Nesbitt in order to prove that young people do, indeed, feel a meaningful connection to the Holocaust.
  Listen to an interview with Kathy Kacer about We Are Their Voice with Anne Dublin for The Book of Life Podcast

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"Journal entries, letters, drawings, and descriptive passages created by students throughout Canada, with some added entries from other countries as well, are brief but thoughtful, showing clarity of feeling and understanding of the role of memory in giving meaning to sacrificed lives."- Booklist, January 2, 2013

"At times, the students’ writings become historically impossible, but excellent editing points out the anachronisms and allows the synthesis of the time to be interesting rather than distracting...This is an innovative way to have young people process and respond to historical events." - School Library Journal, February 2013

"…educators will find the collection useful in the classroom, perhaps to spark lessons and projects of their own. Recommended for all libraries." - AJL Reviews, February/March 2013

"These child-authored stories are testimonies to the skill of each author to place himself or herself in the minds of Holocaust survivors." -The Canadian Jewish News, December 12, 2012

"On the back cover of the book the question “Do young people find meaning in the Holocaust?” is asked. This collection of writings, as well as all the other pieces submitted in response to the project, shows us emphatically that they most certainly do." - The London Jewish Community News, November 2012

"The question, 'Do young people find meaning in the Holocaust?' prompted a writing project in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Italy that generated responses from sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, both Jewish and Gentile. In a collection of essays, stories, letters, poems, and drawings, they lend their voices in ways that go beyond expectations." - Association of Jewish Libraries, Reviews, March 1, 2013


Reading Levels

Guided Reading Level: Z

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