Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finding the Holocaust in other stories and histories

As an English / Language Arts / Communication Arts teacher, I am always looking for good books to read and pass on to my students. I am also always looking to read for pleasure, and as a member of a book club, I am always trying to “branch out” and read books that are not always ones that I would have been interested in on my own. Because of this, I have noticed that the Holocaust has become a topic in more and more fiction books as well as being connected to so many issues in history that I read about in non-fiction books.

For example, a few years ago I read Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos, a fiction book about the intertwining lives of people living in Seattle that had ties to the Holocaust. The link to the Holocaust was subtle, but it was there. I also read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, a non-fiction book about an African-American woman whose cancer cells have been used by doctors and scientists to discover cures to diseases, help with cancer treatments, and a plethora of other research but who never received any compensation and little recognition. This book also tied into the Holocaust very subtly because of the medical ethics established as a result of the experiments in the camps.

Some other books that I have enjoyed (both fiction and non-fiction) that have related to the Holocaust include Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

In addition to these, there are many more books out there and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s resource center has many that you may check out and read. I recommend these to my students who want to read more about the Holocaust beyond what we study in class and hope that they continue to learn about this important time period.

No comments:

Post a Comment