Friday, May 21, 2010

Star of Fear, Star of Hope

Star of Fear, Star of Hope opens with the following three lines:

My name is Helen, and I'm nearly an old woman now. When I'm gone, who will remember Lydia? That is why I want to tell you our story. (p. 1)

Author Jo Hoestlandt then allows Helen to tell hers and Lydia's story. The two girls were nine years old in 1942 and lived in the north of France in the Nazi occupies zone. Lydia was Jewish and had to wear the yellow star. Still the girls were friends. On the night of July 15, the girls were spending the night at Helen's apartment and heard some strange events taking place in the hallway. When Helen's parents came home, they realized two Jewish people were seeking shelter with a neighbor. Helen's father took Lydia home and Helen was angry because it was her birthday. She never saw Lydia again. Helen told her mother that Lydia wasn't born under a lucky star. Her mother replied, Bad luck almost never comes from the stars above, Helen. And this bad luck certainly doesn't. Unfortunately, it comes from people, from the wickedness of some and the weakness of others. Sometimes it can be so hard to live together... (p. 28)

This is the second book in which the date July 16, 1942 is important for the Jewish population of Paris. In my review of Sarah's Key you can find some useful links to the Vel de Vie (common name to the roundup of Jews in Paris on that date).

As always, I like to look for lesson plans or useful webpages to allow readers to expand their knowledge or the knowledge of children they teach. In this case, I located the Educator's Resource Toolkit: Lessons from the Holocaust published in 1998 by the Center for Literacy Studies, University of Tennessee. The pages specific to Star of Fear, Star of Hope are E3, E4, and E5. However, if you get the chance read through the entire publication as it has a wealth of information presented in a well-organized fashion.

TITLE: Star of Fear, Star of Hope
AUTHOR: Jo Hoestlandt
TRANSLATED BY: Mark Polizzotti
TYPE: Holocaust literature
AWARD: Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Award - 1995 Award Winner for Younger Readers
RECOMMEND: The beauty of this book is that the child in the book has grown up and is retelling the story and relates the emotional impact of what happened when she was still a child.

1 comment:

Shaynie said...

Looks really interesting!!