Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New Republic

Published: Sep 21, 2011

“By now, hundreds of children’s books about the Holocaust have been published—fiction and non-fiction, as well as hybrids of varying quality: books about hiding, about substitute parents, about successful and failed escapes, attempted rescues and resistance,” writes Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, in “Pedagogy in Purgatory,” her latest essay for the New Republic. “Two recent non-fiction books… reveal that the choice of any particular book—and, similarly, the decision to visit a memorial or a museum—may be less important than what surrounds the experience whenever it does occur.”

Spitz goes on to review Ruth Thomson’s “Terezín: Voices from the Holocaust” and Linney Wix’s “Through a Narrow Window,” praising the fact that these books give children and their parents opportunities to discuss the Holocaust, and particularly the situation of children during the holocaust, without the heavy-handed commentary that is often found in children’s books about the time.

The review appeared on the website on September 21.


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