The Tree of Life: How a Holocaust Sapling Inspired the World

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Years ago in Czechoslovakia, Jews were forced into ghettos and concentration camps. One such ghetto was Terezin. It was a dark, sad time with little hope. A teacher there had an idea and asked a man to sneak a sapling into the ghetto for the children. A tree needs water to grow, and children shared what little water they had to help the little tree to thrive. They protected it from cold winds and continued to share the little water they had. It was a symbol of hope for the people of Terezin and became known as the Tree of Life. Even as more and more children were taken from Terezin to worse places, those left behind cared for the tree.

Elisa Boxer has written a beautiful, important story to help children today to understand, at least a little, the horror of Fascism, a critical lesson in today’s world. Her writing is lovely and the story is compelling and, at the same time, hopeful. The illustrations by Alianna Rozentsveig are the perfect complement to the story, all in muted tones on sepia backgrounds. An author’s note explains more of the Terezin story, and a list of sources invites more exploration.

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Author Elisa Boxer, Alianna Rozentsveig
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 40 pages
Publisher Penguin Young Readers Group
Publish Date 16-Jan-2024
ISBN 9780593617120 Buy this Book
Issue March 2024
Category Children's