Hana’s Suitcase: The Quest to Solve a Holocaust Mystery
To teach them about the Holocaust, Fumiko Ishioka had only an empty suitcase with a child’s name: Hana Brady. Her students were fascinated: who was this girl? What had happened to her? Ishioka needed to find answers.
Hana Brady was a sweet, fun-loving, ordinary girl in Czechoslovakia, with a loving family in a tight-knit community. But her life was cut short when the Nazis came.
This book relates these two stories in a beautifully intertwined tale. Ishioka’s dedication to uncovering the truth, and Hana’s own story, inspire readers to remember the Holocaust and take its lessons to heart. Accessible even to elementary grade students, its story is fascinating for all ages. Photographs of Hana, her family, and Ishioka and her students help younger readers feel even more connected to the characters in this true story, and it is written well and simply, being careful to emphasize the humanity of those who, like Hana, faced such terror and persecution; importantly, it shields young, sensitive children from the full depths of the horror they had to endure, instead emphasizing that this was ‘a girl like me’.
This is a wonderful introduction that will personalize the Holocaust for young readers in a beautiful, age-appropriate way.
Crown Books for Young Readers