Yellow Star

>> Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yellow Star
by Jennifer Roy

It is difficult to find a book about the Holocaust that really makes it sink in.
It is also difficult to find a book in written in free verse that is poignant and powerful.
Yellow Star is both of these and more.

In 1939, the Germans invaded Poland and moved 270,000 Jews into the Lodz ghetto.
At the end of the war, about 800 had survived.
Twelve were children.

Yellow Star is the story of Syvia Perlmutter, one of the twelve. It is told from her point of view, in free verse that encompasses the terrible sorrow of the event. In fact, it was the first book that got me hooked on books in verse.
But that's neither here nor there.
To be able to capture the ongoing terror of living in such a place is extraordinary. At one point in the story, Syvia and her father are walking the streets, sidestepping pools of dark red. And when you realize that this was real, this was their real life, it breaks you down. Children shouldn't have had to seen that kind of stuff, I kept thinking throughout the book. No one should have had to live through that.

It's not graphic, and it doesn't try to horrify you the way a horror movie might.
It's just the little, simply-stated facts that really shock you. It really puts you in their shoes. It makes you never want to complain about anything ever again.

But the book doesn't just focus on the terror and unbelievable sorrow.
There are moments of light, scenes where the main character realizes there's still good in the world. That she can be brave.
It's sombering, yes, but not depressing. Yellow Star ends with a message of hope, which really makes it stand out.
This book will leave few untouched.

is the color of
the felt six-pointed star
that is sewn onto my coat.
It is the law
that all Jews have to wear the
Star of David
when they leave their house,
or else be arrested.

I wish I could
rip the star off
(carefully, stitch by stitch, so as not to ruin
my lovely coat),
because yellow is meant to be
a happy color,
not the color of

Objectionable Content: None

Related Reads:
The Boy Who Dared-Susan Campbell Bartoletti
The Stone Goddess-Minfong Ho
Number the Stars-Lois Lowry


I Am An Otter

You're an otter, mate! Another good friend of Redwall, you are a natural swimmer and a deadly fighter especially with a long bow or javellin. Camp Willow is your home, just as Redwall is your second home. You have a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. You absolutely love Shrimp and Hotroot soup, living by the motto "Ain't nothing 'otter for an Otter!".

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