The "ONE BOOK" Chosen for Holocaust Education
International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD) is a day marked around the world on January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This year we're thinking about the importance of education for young people around this history.
Second Story Press is proud to share stories that are full of bravery and hope as well as tragedy in our Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers. In particular, we want to highlight To Hope and Back by Kathy Kacer, an important novel based on the true story of the St. Louis, a ship full of Jewish refugees that was turned away from country after country (including Canada and the USA) in its attempt to escape Nazi Germany in 1939. As a result, the ship was forced to return to Europe where many of its Jewish passengers met their deaths in the Holocaust.
Sponsored by Ernie’s Books, an incredible number of copies of To Hope and Back have been distributed to schools across Ontario to help with the new Holocaust Education Curriculum for students in Grade six. In late 2023, Second Story Press coordinated with Marilyn Sinclair, founder of Liberation75, to distribute the books for free to Ontario teachers. Due to the high demand, over 25,000 copies of To Hope and Back have been distributed to classrooms in the Toronto District School Board and around the province of Ontario.
There is a free Teacher’s Guide available for To Hope and Back, and for all the books in the Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers.
The Toronto Holocaust Museum is one of many organizations trying to counter rising antisemitism and the spread of Holocaust misinformation. On the weekend of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, they will be focusing on the Brady family. The book Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine has brought the tragic story of Hana Brady and her brother George to millions of children around the world. The museum's program invites families to explore how the lives of the two young siblings were forever changed by the Holocaust.