Monday, November 17, 2008
Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine
Hana’s Suitcase is the story of one woman’s successful attempts to bring the Holocaust alive for Japanese children. It is also the story of Czech Jew Hana Brady and her brother George, who survived the Holocaust without knowing his sister’s final fate. Fumiko Ishioka, Director of the Tokyo Holocaust Education and Resource Center, wanted to have just one item from the Holocaust that Japanese children could touch and relate to – so they would really understand the harsh reality of the Holocaust. Fumiko was given Hana’s suitcase. On behalf of the Japanese children who visited the museum, Fumiko worked tirelessly to find out more about Hana. The book tells this story. It is a wonderful testament to the good people of this world who make a difference in the lives of children everywhere. And in some ways, Fumiko’s quest reunited George with the memory of his sister.
The story was first told by Paul Lungen in an article in the Canadian Jewish News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio presented a documentary by the author, Karen Levine in January 2001. You can listen to it here. In addition, there are many remarkable links from this broadcast page. Another interesting development with this book is the production of a play: Holocaust story makes theatre debut, as it is reported in the Canadian Jewish News.
TITLE: Hana’s Suitcase
AUTHOR: Karen Levine
AWARDS: 2002 Award for Older Readers, Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Awards