Karen Levine. Hana's
The town's general store was on the ground floor. There, you could buy almost anything … buttons, jam, oil lamp and rakes, sleigh bells, stones for sharpening knives, dishes, paper and pens and candy. On the second floor lived the Brady family: father Karel, mother Marketa, Hana and her big brother George.
brown suitcase once belonged to a girl named Hana. A small blond, blue eyed
girl, who loved to figure-skate, and wanted to be a teacher. Hana was like
every other girl her age, except for one thing, she was a Jew. When the
Nazi's begin their conquest of Europe, Hana knows her simple life in
Czechoslovakia will be no more. She can no longer go to school, she must not
leave the house, and she can never see her friends again. Soon her parents
are taken away, gone to the concentration camps. Then she and her brother
George must to leave. Through it all Hana remains confident that she will
see her family again, and bravely faces the cruelty and hardship of
day-to-day life. With pictures, drawings and words, Karen Levine tells the
stark truth, about one little girl and the Holocaust.
Everyday children come to a little museum in Tokyo, Japan, to see this suitcase. It sits in a glass cabinet. And through the glass you can see that there is writing on the suitcase. In white paint, across the front, there is a girl's name: Hana Brady. A date of birth: May 16, 1931. And one other word: Waisenkind. That's the German word for orphan.
Hana's Suitcase is another story, that of Fumiko Ishioka, director of
the Tokyo Holocaust Center. In preparing to set up an exhibit called
'Holocaust Seen Through Children’s Eyes’, Fumiko stumbles across Hana's
suitcase, and sets out on a quest to find out what happened to Hana. Along
the way she discovers more and more about the little girl, and what her life
was like before the war. In the end, she has an exhibit that reaches out and
grabs you. It tells the story of Hana Brady.
I would recommend Hana's Suitcase for children ages 12 and up. I believe that adults too, will be touched by the story of Hana. I would give Hana's Suitcase five stars out of five.
This page was last updated on March 29, 2006 by the KIWW Webmaster.