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text 2019-11-29 16:15
24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 - Veterans' / Armistice Day: Task 2

Here's hoping this year won't see any more authors' deaths, because too many of the great ones have already left us in 2019.  Those that stood out most to me:


Toni Morrison

(Feb. 18, 1931 – Aug. 5, 2019)

Toni MorrisonToni Morrison was the Nobel Prize-winning author of best-selling novels including Beloved, Song of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye.  She died at the age of 88.


Of all the great authors who died in 2019, she stood head and shoulders above the rest.  I reread her novel Beloved for Halloween Bingo and came away devastated and heartbroken all over again.  If you only ever read one book by Morrison, make it that one.  What a literary voice, and what an advocate for racial and gender equality the world has lost in her.



Judith Kerr

(June 14, 1923 – 22 May 2019)

Judith KerrJudith Kerr, who created the Mog picture books series, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and the semi-autobiographical When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, died at age 95.


Even before I had first seen the images of children gassed at Auschwitz, Kerr's book When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit brought home to child-age me that genocide and persecution stops at no-one -- rather, anybody, regardless how young, can become a victim.  once learned, it was a lesson I never forgot.



Herman Wouk

(May 27, 1915 – May 17, 2019)

Herman WoukHerman Wouk, who wrote the classic novel The Caine Mutiny, died at the age of 103, only 10 days before his 104th birthday.


What an age to have reached -- a true witness to a whole century!  I've yet to read more of his work (yeah, I know ...), but The Caine Mutiny was one of the first literary works to truly make me think about the nature of justice (and "justice" vs. "the administration of the law") ... and who could possibly not be left stunned with the gut-punch screen adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart?



Mary Oliver

(Sept. 10, 1935 – Jan. 17, 2019)

Mary OliverMary Oliver was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet beloved for her poems about nature and animal life. She died at the age of 83.


And instead of any further words, I'm just going to leave this here (I think BT may already have quoted it in her post for this task, too, but it definitely bears quoting twice):


Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.


(Task: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.)


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text 2019-05-23 14:01
RIP Judith Kerr
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Judith Kerr
The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Judith Kerr
Mog the Forgetful Cat - Judith Kerr

Sad news.




I wrote about When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit a few years ago. I can't imagine what Ms Kerr must have thought about the recent resurgence of far-right politics in Europe.




Edit: Unsurprisingly she was very anti Brexit and drew this lovely pro-Europe picture.






And Mog will never be forgotten.



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review 2015-01-25 14:41
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Judith Kerr

This was a different type of novel dealing with Hitler, his regime and the affect he had on individuals. It wasn’t the heart-torn stories of concentration camps or hiding from the soldiers, this story dealt with a family adapting to life on the other side of the fence. Leaving the security of their home in Germany, Anna and her family moved around several times before they were finally liberated, in order to survive. The interesting focus in this story is that Anna’s father is a writer. As a writer, he has a few strong supporters that follow him, who end up being his eyes and ears and basically watching his back. As father writes down his words, he knows they anger the new forces, he knows his life is in danger but father knows his words are important. Father needs his words to be spoken and heard and he also needs his followers, to keep his words alive but these followers can’t put the food on his table hence father must do what he thinks is right for his family. The family must move when father fears for his life. Anna and her brother are under the age of ten and this whole idea of Nazi’s, moving and the hatred of others is inconceivable to them. As they try to adapt to their new surroundings at each address, the struggles are not the same, their insecurities are always there.

It was an interesting read as it didn’t have the intensity or the emotions that books of this period usually contain that I have read. Father, being a writer, brought another topic to that era that I had never addressed before and it was inspiring how his supporters assisted him. I would have liked to know what father wrote or what he addressed in his writings. Anna was concerned about the family’s possessions as they moved around but her feelings about these belongings dissipated as she matured. This was a good change of pace.

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text 2014-08-21 12:46
August #Bookadayuk - Day 21
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Judith Kerr


When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr is a much-loved book from my childhood. It tells the story of Anna, a nine-year-old Jewish girl and her family who are forced to flee Germany because their father, a writer, has campaigned against Adolf Hitler. The family escape to Switzerland, spend a few years in France before finally settling in England. Through the eyes of Anna we see the rise of Nazi-ism and the problems faced by refugees.


This is a wonderful children's book that deals honestly with what life was like in 1930s Germany. But what I didn't realise until many years later was that the story is semi-autobiographical. The Kerr family were Jews living in Berlin, and Judith Kerr's father was a journalist and writer who had openly criticized Hitler and the Nazi party. He was in bed with a fever when he received a tip-off that his passport was about to be confiscated. He got up and took the first train out of the country. A few weeks later, on the eve of the election that brought Hitler to power, Judith Kerr's mother took her children to the train station and they too left Germany. Alfred Kerr became a wanted man and his books were burned by the Nazis.


Just like Anna's family, the Kerrs moved around Europe until they eventually made England their home. Judith Kerr was 91 this year. She is still writing and in 2012 was awarded the OBE for services to children's literature and Holocaust education. 


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review 2014-02-26 00:00
Judith Kerr's Creatures
Judith Kerr's Creatures - Judith Kerr Magnificent. Simply magnificent.
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