Saturday, April 17, 2010

Angel Girl

Unfortunately this book is a little difficult to review. In addition, it is possible that even if you wanted to use it in your research or classroom you might not be able to locate a copy. As I read the book, knowing it was based on a true story, I found it odd that I remembered hearing something about this exact story recently. So I went to trusty Google and did a search for the title and author. Publisher's Weekly published the following on December 30, 2008:

Upon learning that the widely publicized Holocaust love story of Herman and Roma Rosenblat, which inspired the picture book Angel Girl, is not entirely true, Lerner Publishing Group announced yesterday that it would pull the book from shelves. Lerner imprint Carolhroda Books published Angel Girl by Laurie Friedman in September 2008. The house has canceled all pending reprints and is issuing refunds on all returned books. The company is no longer offering the book for sale and is recalling the book from the market.

So, you may wonder why I am bothering to review the book at all. For the author! Not that I know her, but she wrote the book believing that the story was true. And if it were true, it would be a powerful story. So she deserves credit for writing the book. In case you are wondering, she is not the only one who was fooled. A major motion picture company was making a production of the man's story when he finally told people that the story was not entirely true.
So what is the story. A young boy goes with his mother to a concentration camp where he is separated from his mother who tells him in a dream that "an angel will save you." The angel came in the form of a young peasant girl who threw food to him over the camp enclosure. Ater being liberated the young man travels to America where he meets and marries the same girl.
So it was an unlikely story, but one that held hope and love at it's core. Unfortunately the fact that it is based on a lie makes it very difficult to use or appreciate.

TITLE: Angel Girl
AUTHOR: Laurie Friedman
TYPE: Holocaust narrative, written as non-fiction
RECOMMEND: It has a happy ending but is not true, so I just don't know what to say.

1 comment:

Charles said...

Jacob's Courage is a tender coming of age love story of two young adults living in Salzburg at the time when the Nazi war machine enters Austria. This historical novel presents accurate scenes and situations of Jews in ghettos and concentration camps, with particular attention to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. It explores the dazzling beauty of passionate love, powerful faith and enduring bravery in a lurid world where the innocent are brutally murdered. From desperate despair, to unforgettable moments of chaste beauty, Jacob’s Courage examines a constellation of emotions during a time of incomprehensible brutality.Reviews include Jewish Book World and the Association of Jewish Libraries.

As a coming-of-age love story, Jacob’s Courage has a natural appeal with young people. The novel is required reading for high school students in Ohio. This book represents a compelling way to learn about the Shoah and experience the power of faith.