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review 2018-09-10 01:32
The Butterfly

The Butterfly is fictional account of two young girls, Sevrine and Monique, during the Holocaust whose friendship came out of childhood curiosity and kindness. Monique's mother hid Sevrine and her family from the tall boots, the Nazi's, in order to help them escape the turmoil impacting their village. One night Sevrine and Monique were spotted by a neighbor leading to Sevrine's family immediately fleeing the country. Although Sevrine and Monique were afraid of losing one another, they remained hopeful in the darkest of times.I would use use this book during a Social Studies unit about the Holocaust. It would integrate nicely with an English Language Arts creative writing assignment. Students could write letters from the perspectives of Sevrine and Monique to one another. The LEXILE reading level is 430L.

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review 2018-05-07 16:39
The horror of indifference
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil - Hannah Arendt

When I was in graduate school I read many books that shaped my understanding of historical events, but few did so as profoundly as Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men. By using a battalion of reservists as a case study, Browning showed the process by which men not motivated by ideology or hatred or careerism became participants, even enthusiastic ones, in the execution and deportation of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

Though Browning referenced the experiments undertaken by Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo to explain the psychology of their participation, it's also easy to see the germ of his argument in Hannah Arendt's famous book. For while he was a member of the Nazi Party and a member of its security apparatus, Arendt argues that Adolf Eichmann was less a committed anti-Semite than someone who craved the structure of being part of a larger organization that would give him purpose. Many people have taken this as something of an exoneration of what Eichmann did in his role organizing the deportation of Jewish people, yet this is a misreading of Arendt's analysis, as she makes it clear that Eichmann took pride in his accomplishments and she dismantles his efforts to hide behind the governmental hierarchy. What makes her book so powerful is the sense she conveys of Eichmann, who justified to himself the facilitation of the murder of millions as part of a greater enterprise of which he was proud to serve. Is it this sense of mission devoid of ideology which is at the heart of her assertion of Eichmann's banality.

In the decades since Arendt's book has been published some writers have criticized her for minimizing Eichmann's ideological devotion to Nazism. And while works such as Bettina Stangneth's Eichmann Before Jerusalem do offer important qualifications of Arendt's interpretation of her subject, her book remains essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the motivations of the men and women who carried out the murder of millions of people. For while racism was an undoubted motivation for some, for many others it was a matter of duty, an enjoyment of the power held, or simply a sense of going along with the group. In many ways that was far more horrifying than the anti-Semitism that sparked the Holocaust in the first place: the people who don't just do nothing in the face of evil, but who enable it with their indifferent participation.

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review 2018-02-27 02:10
Will You Help Someone in Need?
Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

In Lois Lowry's book, Number the Stars, the main character helps protect her best friend by pretending she a part of the family. The setting of the book is during World War II and the Holocaust. I would use the book ,in conjunction with The Diary of Anne Frank, to provide insight into the life of hiding and the fight to live. Teachers could have their students create culture quilts to show the many aspects of their cultures. A piece of paper is folding into sixths and the students will draw or write the aspects of their culture. This activity shows students that everyone has one thing in common. 

 

Reading Level: Lexile 670L

 

Grades: 3-6th 

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review 2018-02-17 04:00
Anne Frank
Anne Frank: A Hidden Life - Mirjam Pressler

AR: 8.5

Grade Level: 6th-8th

Summary: Anne Frank: A Hidden Life is all about what Anne Frank and her family endured through the Holocaust. Anne Frank: A Hidden Life gives extreme detail, and allows the reader to experience the Holocaust through Anne's perspctive. 

Idea: This is a great way to intertwine reading into social studies because it covers a momumental part of our history.  I would most definitely use this book for upper grades, most likely 6th. I feel like the reading level and content is most appropiate here. For my lower level students, I can always fit this book into where I would meet their needs. This way, they would not miss out on a first hand account of a young girl, who experienced every bit of the Holocaust. 

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review 2018-01-04 04:38
Maus 1: My Father Bleeds History
Maus I : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman

 

So, I started reading this book in June, ended up getting caught up in other things, including other readings, and I finally just finished it. I actually had to start again from the beginning, but it was worth it.

 

This graphic novel is written by Art Spiegelman and based on his father's experiences before and during World War II. The book skips back and forth in time between the adult author speaking to his father and the years around World War II. In the illustrations, the Jewish people are represented by mice, the Germans cats, and the Polish people by pigs. This graphic novel is at times touching, at times horrifying, and at times just sad. A definite must-read for anyone interested in this time period.

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