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The Magician of Auschwitz
By author: Kathy Kacer   Illustrated by: Gillian Newland
Selling Points: "the Holocaust, intolerance, bravery"
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: Sep/15/2014
Pages: 32
Picture Book
Price:  $18.95
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Once there was a renowned magician called Nivelli, who performed before packed audiences in the grandest theaters of Berlin. Night after night, his fans applauded and called out for more astonishing feats of magic. “Bravo!” they would shout, as Nivelli bowed low with a great flourish. But that was in a different, happier time, before the Jews of Europe were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. This is the true story of a young boy on the inside of Auschwitz, whose life is changed by the actions of a prisoner who performs magic for the guards and who the boy later learns was the famous Nivelli.
Resource Links - October 1, 2014
"The dark brooding illustrations aptly evoke the darkness and inhumanity of the setting. The only spots of colour are the red in the playing cards and the Nazi arm bands. This is an excellent tale to teach children about the horrors of the Holocaust."
Kirkus Reviews - September 15, 2014
"A moving Holocaust story for younger readers about a young boy sent to Auschwitz and befriended by a magician...A poignant, inspiring story of friendship, hope and survival."
CM Magazine - September 5, 2014
"It is never easy reading a book about the Holocaust, especially one targeted specifically for young readers...The challenge for any writer telling children about this horrific time is balance... truth without all the terrifying details. Kathy Kacer rises to this challenge and knows how important it is that children learn about this tragic time in history. She manages the daunting task to not glorify, sensationalize or sugarcoat all the facts...Kacer proves that you can talk to young people about serious and sad issues...In fact, educators can use books like this as an entry point to discuss what life might have been like for young people at this time and use it as a opportunity and a vehicle to draw upon current events for other examples of situations today that threaten the well-being of other ethnic groups. Highly Recommended."
Quill & Quire - September 1, 2014
"Newland's haunting illustrations feature an appropriately muted palette dominated by light grey, muddy brown, and greyish indigo. Paired with Newland's realistic style, the colours give the impression of looking at old photographs...A wonderful springboard for discussion about the Second World War and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, and should be considered an essential purchase for every public and school library."
Publishers Weekly - July 21, 2014
"Infused with hope and a message about human capacity for good in the face of evil."

Awards

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, winner  CA  2015
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2015


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