Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Roy, Jennifer Rozines
New York : Marshall Cavendish, 2006
IL 5-8, RL 5.2
ISBN 076145277X

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Syvia is only four years old but she knows something is wrong. She has to hide from the Nazis in the cellar and wear the yellow star on her new coat. Her family has to leave their home and join 200,000 other people being resettled into a ghetto for the Jews. Syvia understands the word Jew; she knows she is one; so is the rest of her family. Why people hate them is a question she cannot understand until she lives through the war and is one of only 12 children to leave the ghetto six years later. You’ll have an understanding too when you read this true account called Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2007-2008)

Booktalk #2

Years of hunger, of being cold, of being scared fade into the distance as Syvia copes with the newest indignity in her life, hiding in a hole in the cemetery. Her father is doing his best to keep her alive when so many other children of the Lodz ghetto are being moved. But moved to where, her father wonders, as he tries to keep his family together.

If she survives the day in the cemetery hole, what happens next? She has already given up so much of her childhood. Gone are the days of playing with friends, she has no toys, her last birthday was celebrated without even a piece of bread, and now, she is threatened with being separated from her family. Her family is ALL she has left in life - how can the soldiers be so cruel to the youngest members of the Lodz ghetto?
Will her father keep her safe today in the cemetery? And what about tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that? How can survival be this difficult when you are only 10 years old?   (Rhode Island Teen Book Award nominee 2007-2008)

Booktalk #3

Yellow Star is a book, intended for readers who like to learn about history and the fight for survival.  It is a story set in late 1939 when a Jewish child named Syvia, her family, and the whole Jewish race endured ridicule, starvation, death, and dehumanization.  Those that forced these dreadful acts upon the Jews were members of the German Nazi society.

Living life was not easy for Syvia's family, but unlike other families, they were still alive.  Thousands of Jews were being eliminated left and right, due to poor health and poor living conditions from being forced to live in the small ghetto of Lodz, or by execution.  But, even with the death of thousands of Jews taking place inside the ghetto, they were still too numerous in numbers for the Nazis' liking.  Jews were taken by the thousands, forced liked herds of cattle to board freight trains, where they were sent off to concentrations camps or to places where they were executed by horrible and despicable means.  Later, it came to be that only children were now being collected by German soldiers, made to travel by train, tricking the children's parents into thinking a better life was awaiting them.  But Syvia's father knew better.  He had hidden Syvia from the soldiers.  Will Syvia be found and will her family be persecuted for keeping her out of sight?  You will have to read Yellow Star to find out.  (Julie Swenson,, college student)

SUBJECTS:     Jews -- Poland -- Fiction.
                        Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Fiction.
                        Family life Poland -- Fiction.
                        Poland -- History -- Occupation, 1939-1945 -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.

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