Fania's Heart

Fania's Heart


By Anne Renaud and Illustrated by Richard Rudnicki

A tiny birthday card, crafted against all odds within the confines of Auschwitz.

Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? Why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before? 

Fania’s Heart reveals the true story of the crafting of the heart, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage, and loyalty who risked their lives for Sorale’s mother, their friend.

Listen to Anne Renaud on The Book of Life podcast with Canadian Correspondent Anne Dublin

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About the Illustrator

Richard Rudnicki is an award-winning picture book illustrator, an author, and a painter. Most of his picture books are about subjects from Canadian history. He conducts workshops in painting, drawing, and illustration, gives illustrated talks, and takes private students. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

About the Author

Anne Renaud has a penchant for stories that have a historical slant. She has written on the topics of Pier 21, the Empress of Ireland, and the Canadian Tulip Festival. She has written several children’s picture books, in both English and French, including Mousseline vole au vent, Missuk’s Snow Geese, Amande Lavande, Les pierres d’Emma, and Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament. Anne lives in Westmount, Québec.

Product Information

  • Release: March 13, 2018

  • $18.95 Hardcover

  • 32 Pages

  • Picture Book - Children's Nonfiction

  • 8.5 x 11

  • Ages 7-10 / Grades 3-6

  • Lexile: 740L Guided Reading: T

  • ISBN: 9781772600575


  • Character Education
    > Strong Female Characters
    > Family & Friendship

  • Language Arts
    > Historical Fiction

  • History / Social Studies
    > WWII & The Holocaust

Awards for Fania’s Heart

  • Canadian Jewish Literary Award, Children/Youth Category 2018 - Winner

  • Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books of 2018, Canada

Praise for Fania's Heart

"Fania’s Heart is a simply told nonfiction account, effectively delivered to teach children that people can have hope, even in the most dire circumstances.... The history of these terrible events is a lot to absorb, but it’s an important story that echoes today in the experiences of many of the refugee children who have arrived in Canada from war torn countries.... Fania’s Heart joins the list of valuable biographies that should be found in school and classroom libraries everywhere. Highly recommended." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"The inspiring story, which takes place in one of the most demeaning of settings, shows that even the powerless can provide hope and warmth to one other." - Jewish Book Council

"The true story of Fania Landau Fainer, a Polish Jew who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, is compelling from the start.... readers find inspiration in the ways that kindness can exist even in the bleakest places." - AJL Reviews

"... every page contains poignant illustrations that capture the plight of Fania during her time in Auschwitz." - The Canadian Jewish News