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The Broken Mirror Hardcover – September 1, 1997

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7. Historical facts are presented with a heavy hand throughout this story about Moishe and his family. The disparate reactions of Jews to what is happening in Germany in 1939 is clearly represented by the boy's mother's assurance that these "hooligans" (the Nazis) will soon go away, his father's caution in relocating the family to a farm, and their neighbors' exodus from the country. Characters are two-dimensional, except for Moishe, who is only slightly more fleshed out. His older sister is angelic even to the point of her understanding response to her family's betrayal by the German handyman who is responsible for their removal to a concentration camp. Moishe is the only family member to survive; he is rescued and winds up in a Catholic orphanage in the United States after denying that he is Jewish. Conveniently, the story ends with him finding his Jewish identity once again as he wanders into a synagogue and is miraculously taken in and ultimately adopted by the rabbi and his family. This book is far too contrived and peopled with representational characters to compete with the many fine Holocaust stories such as Ida Vos's Hide and Seek (1991), Anna Is Still Here (1993), and Dancing on the Bridge of Avignon (1995, all Houghton), and Renee Roth-Hano's autobiographical Touch Wood (Puffin, 1989).?Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Growing up in Munich in the 1930's, young Moishe loves to hear his sister, Rachel, read him his favorite story: a fairy tale about an evil mirror broken and scattered by Satan. He wonders whether shards of that mirror, which have the power to turn people's hearts to ice, still exist. A few years later, when the Nazis imprison his family in a concentration camp, he knows that they do.

By the end of the war, Moishe is the only one of his family still alive, and he no longer wants to be Jewish. He tells the AMerican liberators he is a Gypsy named Danny and i sent to a Catholic orphanage. WHen his best friend at the orphanage is adopted, Moishe is unable to bear yet another loss in his short life. He runs away. Yet when all seems utterly hopeless, he learns that the light of Sabbath candles is warm enough to melt the ice that has formed in his own heart.

In this moving story of a young boy's flight from his past, legendary actor and acclaimed author Kirk Douglas reminds us that sometimes we must embrace our most painful memories to uncover a brighter future. He tells a timeless tale of loss of faith and its recovery.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; 1st edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689814933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689814938
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,078,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "matrixgirl22jo" on April 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I suggest this book to anyone of any age. A quick read, but you'll want to read it again and again! The story is about Moische, a young Jewish boy who lives during the Holocaust. He doesn't understand why he's being punished for being Jewish, and decides he just won't be a Jew anymore. This book is in 2 parts, one told by Moische and one by Danny -- who is not Jewish but holds the memories of Moische and the horrors of the Holocaust. It sounds better than this review, I promise!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Weinhold on July 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A novella written by the actor, Kirk Douglas. It is the story of a young German-Jewish boy during WWII. The story is told through the young man's eyes, as he tries to figure out who the Nazis are, his family's hiding, their concentration camp days, and his life afterwards. The book is told in two parts, after young Moishe decides he wants to hide his Jewish identity, he assumes the name Danny, and calls himself a gypsy. A sweet story about returning to love. The story is simple, and seems to be geared towards children/young teens, but adult readers will be able to enjoy the book just as much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent for children just learning about the holocaust, easy reading for adults. Gives a basic insight into one persons feelings of hopelessness and loss of his whole family and how he finds his roots once again. Well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Moishe is a Jew and has to move to a farm with his family.The only one who knows is a friend who works on the farm. One day the Natzis come and take Moishe,Mother,Father,and Rachel,his sister to a concentration camp. His sister,mother,and father die there.When he gets out and goes to the orphanage he says his name is Danny and he says he's not a Jew. When his friend gets adopted Moishe runs away,finally he finds a synagog and goes in it and the Rabbi asks why are you here and then Danny cries and shows his tatto from the concentration camps. The Rabbi adopts him and they live happily ever after.Ireally like this book because it is very heart warming and all the tragities he has to thrive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By meiringen on April 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a book meant for younger readers, but is a good read for any age group, and a good starter book about the Holocaust.
Moishe is the only survivor after his family is taken away to the death camps. He is taken to a Catholic orphanage, where he denies he's Jewish, and calls himself Danny in an effort to forget the past. He runs away from the orphanage after his best friend is adopted. He is taken in by a rabbi and his family after Moishe hears a familiar song coming from a synagogue, and goes to investigate--bringing him full circle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Malchah on November 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book to my children, ages 10 & 12 over the past two nights. The children were rivetted to every word. Part one led to a moving family discussion about the Holocaust and why people hate. Part two brought about a flood of emotions literally bringing us to tears. Reading aloud this book was a wonderful and moving family experience. I am planning on purchasing additional copies of this book to give as gifts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ana-Alicia on May 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book by Kirk Douglas is perhaps one the best and shortest books I have read. It is very accuarte and extremely emotional. It is a book that you will cherish and read over and over many times.
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By Richy on November 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Broken Mirror is a very sad book. It's about a boy, Moishe, who loses everything including his older sister, Rachel, whom he loves more than anything. She always told him a story about Satan's mirror.

In the beginning of the book him and his family are force to move to his fathers farm where a man, who later becomes engaged to Rachel, named David showed up and told Moishe's family that Nazis were close and looking for Jews. David was a student of Moishe's father. The family would have gotten away and lived happily if the well-paid help around the farm hadn't told the Nazis about them. So the family and David were shipped to a concentration camp where all were killed but Moishe. He is rescued by a kind African American. Moishe tells the man his name is David, and a German.

"David" is then sent to an orphanage where he befriends a boy named Roy. Roy gets adopted. David is crushed. He can't even tell anyone he's Jewish because he decided he didn't want to be a Jew. So he runs away. He runs until he can't run anymore. He goes into a Church where he breaks down and tells a Rabbi his horrid story. Then he is adopted by this man and he lives happily.
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