by Karen Levine

Reviewer Rating:


I listened to the audible book version of Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story. It is a quick listen, only two discs. I am drawn to Holocaust stories, especially nonfiction works, but, as we all know, the subject matter is difficult to take. Hana’s Suitcase is a children’s book, but its non-graphic writing style makes the story appropriate for children aged 9 and up. It received the 2003 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and a 2007 nomination for the Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award.

In 2000, a young Japanese historian named Fumiko Ishioka set out to make a museum exhibit about the children of the Holocaust. Due to a national focus on their own wartime experiences, most Japanese children of the time had scant knowledge of the Holocaust. The Auschwitz Museum loaned Ishioka a single suitcase, marked with the name Hana Brady, her birth date, and Waisenkind (orphan). Ishioka spent the next year researching Hana’s story and bringing that story to life for Japan’s children.

Listen to this audio book with your child and visit the website Hana’s Story for photos of Hana, the suitcase, her family, and Fumiko Ishioka.


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