Posts tagged ‘holocaust’


My Name is Eva: An absolutely gripping and emotional historical novel

Written by Suzanne Goldring

At the beginning of this work of historical fiction, the reader meets Eva who is living in a nursing home in the English countryside. Is Eva actually suffering from dementia?

When an intriguing document is found in her home, Eva is questioned about it. That shifts the story to 1939 and the war in Germany. Readers learn about the husband who left Eva behind and the events that followed. The author discusses issues like the holocaust, the suffering of the citizens, and the atrocities experienced by all throughout the land.

The characters are interesting, the plot contains twists and turns, and the historical details add interest to Eva’s adventure.

A quick read that sustains interest throughout.



The Lost Girl from Belzec, A WW2 Historical Novel

Written by Ravit Raufman

A complex historical holocaust novel based on a true story. It explores the complex psychological relationship between a mother and her daughter.

The Nazis thrust Ruthie and her daughter Noga into the Belzec concentration camp in Poland. Ruthie desperately wants to save Noga, so she smuggles her out of the camp. The author narrates the saga from both their points of view and alternates back and forth. While the author creates well-delineated characters in heartbreaking situations, this dual arrangement can be confusing and annoying.

For young adults and adults who enjoy carefully researched historical novels or those that explore complex psychological issues, this book is an excellent choice. The characters struggle to survive and experience pain and suffering through physical and mental torture. Readers should expect that the book will make a deep impression on them.


The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey – virtual book tour and giveaway #thecrystalbeads

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Purple Butterfly Press.


The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Written by Pat Black-Gould

Illustrated by Katya Royz

Ages 8+ | 40 Pages

Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press | ISBN-13: 9781955119207

Publisher’s Synopsis: A Star of David necklace or a rosary?

In 1939 Poland, a young girl is asked to give up one of these and accept the other without understanding why. However, what she must part with happens to be her most prized possession—a precious gift given to her by her father before he died.

The child’s mother then teaches the girl a “game” to prepare her for what is to come. As the Nazis invade the country, the mother is forced to make a heartbreaking sacrifice.

This beautifully illustrated picture book is loosely based on a true story. Although told through the eyes of a young girl, the book is written for readers of all ages. It also contains two study guides. One is for children, parents, and teachers. The other is for adults who may gather in places of worship, book clubs, and small groups. Discussion topics include themes of compassion, empathy, and diversity.



Barnes and Noble


Pat Black-Gould, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and an author. Her short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies.

Many years ago, Pat heard a powerful story that haunted her until she committed it to paper. The Crystal Beads was first published in Jewish Fiction. net in 2020. The short story then won first-place honors in two writing competitions conducted by the National League of American Pen Women, Washington, D.C.

The first was an award by the Pen Women Florida State Association. She then received the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award as part of the National Biennial Letters in Competition. Pat felt it important to bring the story to a younger audience. At that point, she rewrote it as a children’s book. She hopes that The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, will do justice to the story she once heard and carry its message to younger generations.

Pat’s writing explores topics such as compassion, tolerance, and diversity. She continues to examine these themes in her upcoming novel, Limbo of the Moon, written with her co-writer, Steve Hardiman.

For more information, visit



The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey

Written by Patricia Black-Gould

Illustrated by Katya Royz

The story opens in 1939 Poland. A little girl named Lalka treasures the Star of David necklace that her father gave her shortly before he died. Suddenly, Lalka’s mother asks her to remove it and instead gifts her a set of crystal beads called a rosary. They will be playing a game. Lalka must learn all about its secrets.

Shortly after, Lalka’s mother enrolls her in a convent school where she will live and go to Catholic school. She is confused and upset but follows the instructions her mother had given her. When two men come to interrogate her, Lalka faces a difficult decision.

Gould writes about the holocaust story in a way with which elementary and middle-school readers understand. Readers empathize and absorb its impact through Lalka’s experiences. The book is sensitive and well-written. Royz illustrates it with compassion and tenderness.

The discussion guides for both children and adults are carefully crafted. They provide the tools to assure a fruitful learning environment. Gould also explains how children may become involved as active participants in the Children’s Holocaust Project.

I highly recommend the book to parents and teachers of children ages five through twelve.


Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey!

Four (4) winners receive:

A signed copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey.



Monday, July 11, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Tuesday, July 12, 2022Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview with author Pat Black-Gould
Wednesday, July 13, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Thursday, July 14, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Friday, July 15, 2022Writer with WanderlustA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Monday, July 18, 2022Me Two BooksA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Tuesday, July 19, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Wednesday, July 20, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Thursday, July 21, 2022The Twirling Book PrincessAn article by author Pat Black-Gould
Friday, July 22, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Monday, July 25, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Tuesday, July 26, 2022Shooting Stars MagAn article by author Pat Black-Gould
Wednesday, July 27, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Thursday, July 28, 2022Crafty Moms ShareA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey
Friday, July 29, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey


Holocaust Survivor
Dan Myers, Author, and Editor
Virginia Weinkratz, Narrator

This is not a book for the feint-hearted. The author relates her personal experience as a young 22-year-old Jewish girl growing up in Poland. She communicates the heartache of suddenly being torn from family and community to live a life of fear and uncertainty. Trapped between the German and Soviet forces, the family fees struggling to remain together. Once captured, the men and women are quickly separated. Regina and her mother are torn from her father and male siblings. They are moved from the ghetto to Auschwitz where Regina loses her mother and befriends Elka. Regina describes in graphic detail the physical, mental and emotional atrocities of prison life. Then she is marched to Majdanek, where she remains close to death until “liberated.” Two-thirds of the Jewish population as well as many whom the Nazis viewed as undesirables would be wiped out during World War II.

This book is recommended for young adult and adult audiences who are prepared to read about one of the darkest events in history.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.


Let The Celebrations Begin!

Written by Margaret Wild

Illustrated by Julie Vivas

letthecelebrations, pic

I received this book as a prize in a book promotion. What a pleasant surprise! The author tackles a subject usually considered verboten for young children and turns it into a beautiful lesson of hope rather than sorrow.

Although the publisher targets the book for readers age four and up, I feel that it is most appropriate for children in grades two and up. Children will immediately have questions when they see the characters depicted wearing rags and little or no hair. Miriam is the narrator who tells the reader she lives in Hut 22, Bed 18. The setting is a Holocaust camp for Polish women in Belsen. She is collecting rags and scraps of clothing from the prisoners to make toys for David and Sarah, two children who have never seen a toy. There’s no food in the camp, but Miriam is sure that the allied soldiers will come to liberate them soon. By the time the soldiers arrive, the toys are finally ready and the celebrations begin.

Wild does a remarkable job of telling her story, tempering the horror with Miriam’s spirit of optimism and courage. Children can be introduced to the Holocaust theme without the horror and violence being graphically displayed. Highly recommended for parents and teachers of children age seven and older.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this post.


I am Lubo

Written by Lou Pechi

I Am Lubo, picamazon

This story is not simply another holocaust survival tale, but rather a journey of one child’s struggle to discover his true identity. The story begins in June, 1938 in Zagreb with a young boy named Lubo who sketches a happy, carefree life including imitating a traffic policeman and going to the barber shop with his father, Kolega. His mother Mutika adores him; the only thorn in his side is his mean governess, “Fraulein.” Lubo’s carefree life of playing with tin soldiers, trains and cars is shattered on April 6, 1941, when he is trapped in the air raid on Belgrade while visiting his grandmother. His mother takes him on a desperate journey by rail, boat and foot in an attempt to return home, only to find Nazi soldiers in their living room upon their arrival. With a child’s simplicity, Lubo is delighted to see real soldiers carrying real guns visiting his home. Soon Lubo’s parents are required to wear badges indicating that they are Jews, and Kolega joins the army. Conditions rapidly deteriorate; Lubo’s parents decide to convert to Catholicism and flee to Italy.

Lubo embarks on a lifelong quest to find his identity. His journey will include living with aunts, uncles and cousins,staying with his mother in Italy, narrowly avoiding being sent to a concentration camp in Germany, and getting back to Yugoslavia with his father for a short time. Lubo just wants to be back living a normal child’s life with his parents, but their lives keep taking separate turns. Lubo will even find himself on a kibbutz in Israel living with other children of foreigners who also see themselves as outcasts. When Lubo is finally nearing his eighteenth birthday, he decides to join the Israeli Air Force so he can use the technical knowledge he enjoys. Again he is frustrated because he does not have a high school diploma; so he pleads with his mother, who is now living in America to send for him. Lubo finds another roadblock when he arrives in America. He will encounter new forms of discrimination and frustration in America as well. Despite all obstacles, Lubo eventually succeeds in discovering his path to success and happiness.

I am truly impressed with the honestly and sincerity of this memoir which took the author much of his life to write. He writes from the perspective of a frightened child who through no fault of his own has been placed in the path of overwhelming roadblocks to his success. The events of the holocaust are cast in historical perspective seen through the eyes of a young child who had to constantly rearrange his life to suit them. Adding to the uniqueness of the story are the personal photographs of people, places, and events that the author has managed to acquire. It is a powerful read that I think tweens and teens as well as adults will find compelling. Pechi includes an epilogue revealing what happened to each of the major characters. Another bonus feature is a list of questions that the reader should be able to answer after reading the book that will guide classroom or seminar discussion groups on the holocaust. A highly recommended read!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner of this post.

%d bloggers like this: