- Age Range: 5 - 9 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
- Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (September 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375866957
- ISBN-13: 978-0375866951
- Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,656,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Will Come Back for You: A Family in Hiding During World War II Hardcover – September 27, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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About the Author
MARISABINA RUSSO is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children. Her picture books include A Very Big Bunny, a Junior Library Guild Selection; The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds, which was called "fresh and engaging" by Booklist; and Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II, based on the experiences of her grandmother's family during the Holocaust, which was named an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book. Visit her at MarisabinaRusso.com.
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The first charm is a donkey. The donkey represents the happy times that Jacob, Sabina and their children had in Rome before the war. They would often go to the park and ride on the backs of gentle donkeys.
The second charm is a piano. Jacob would play the piano and sing to his family each night when he got home from work. One day, Jacob learned that he and all Jewish men had to move to a small village up in the mountains. The music ended and the family missed Jacob very much.
The third charm is a bicycle. Jacob learned that the Germans were coming to the village and all the Jewish detainees would be moved to a concentration camp. Jacob ran away and hid in the mountains. A friendly farmer carried Sabina on the handlebars of his bicycle to a safer hiding place higher in the mountains. The children were left behind but hoped to be reunited with their parents as soon as it was safe.
The fourth charm is a pig. The children hid in baskets of live piglets and were carried high into the mountains on the back of a donkey. They were reunited with Sabina and lived with her on a farm until the war ended.
The next two charms are a barn and a spinning wheel. These charms represent the time that Sabina and the children lived on the farm. Sabina worked in the fields and even learned to spin yarn from sheep's wool. They looked like part of the farmer's family so no one suspected that they were Jews.
The Last charm is an ocean liner. Sabina learned that Jacob had joined the partigiani, a group of people who were fighting against the Germans. He was killed by Nazi solders who found his hideout. After the war, Sabina and her children sailed to America where they started a new life.
When I was a child, I loved to read biographies and books about history. I read very little fiction, I always wanted a "true" book. I majored in social studies/history when I went to college. I love to learn about the history of my country and the world.
The subject of the Holocaust is difficult to explain to children. This fictionalized story based on the author's real-life experience deals with the subject in a sensitive and appropriate manner.
I really love the way the charm bracelet was used to represent each part of the story. The author gives more information about her family in the "Afterword" section of the book. Incredibly, about 85% of the Jews in Italy survived the war, more than in almost any other European country.
This is an excellent resource to teach children about war, evil, bravery and kindness in the face of danger. Highly recommended for children in early elementary grades and up. (The book jacket says ages 5 - 9 but I think it could be used with older students.)
The story traces the lives of a Jewish family in Rome, Italy, consisting of a father, mother, Nonna (the daughter), and Nonna's younger brother Roberto. Things are idyllic until a summons comes for Nonna's father to report to a place in the mountains - all foreign Jewish men had to be taken away since Italy had allied itself with Germany.
Nonna and her brother are of course shattered by this turn of events, but luckily their mother figures out a way to visit their father during the weekends (which was allowed at the time). Over a period of time, things get worse for the Jews - Nonna's father and the other Jewish men are to be taken away to a concentration camp in Germany and he makes plans to get away. Meanwhile, the rest of the family are hidden by kind Italian peasants.
The story flows well, and the colorful illustrations offset the grimness of the situation narrated in the story. This is a great way to introduce younger readers to the subject of the Holocaust, although I'd recommend this for children who are a bit more mature in thinking and able to understand the content. My seven-year-old is quite familiar with Anne Frank and some other stories of the Holocaust such as The Cats in Krasinski Square,The Butterfly, etc. so she was able to follow this story quite well. Recommended for school and public library collections.
The narrative is based upon author/illustrator Marisabina Russo's own family, revealing the love and tragedy her Jewish Italian family endured at the hand of the Nazis. Ms. Russo's colorful illustrations nicely complement the story. She includes real family photos in the front and back inside covers of the book and offers an Afterword page to explain more details about her family's true story.
The author uses language in the book that is safe and subtle, so it will not be a traumatic experience for young readers. Because of the sensitive subject matter, I suggest that parents read this book along with their children and discuss the events of the story with them, as young readers will likely have many important questions to ask. I am grateful there is a book like I Will Come Back for You to help broach a difficult, yet unavoidable subject such as this one. I highly recommend it.