This is an excellent, high-interest, low-reading-level book about the Holocaust. It’s aimed at about a Grade 5 or 6 reading level, but I have used it in an adult literacy class and the students got a lot out of it. Because the subject matter is so serious, it does not have the same pitfalls that using a children’s book in an adult literacy class can often have. Although the reading level is low, it is not childish in any way.
This book is the true story of a young girl, Hana Brady, and her life in Czechoslovakia before and during World War II. Hana and her family are Jewish and thus targeted by the Nazis when they invade Czechoslovakia.
The book has a parallel storyline that takes place closer to the present day (in the early 2000s). Fumiko Ishioka, head of the Tokyo Holocaust Education Museum, leads a group of Japanese children (The Small Wings) in a quest to discover more about the owner of an artifact lent to their museum by the Auschwitz museum. The story moves back and forth between Hana’s story and Fumiko and the Small Wings’ search for more information about Hana.
There are many archival photos of the people, artifacts, and documents involved in the story, which add to the interest and help situate the reader; there is also a related documentary that I highly recommend called Inside Hana’s Suitcase–it’s an excellent additional resource in the classroom. This page from Scholastic also has good ideas for activities in the classroom and links to other resources: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/b…