Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 208
Themes: Holocaust, Bat Mitzvahs, Judaica
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2008
Bookmark and Share
Laura is about to celebrate her Jewish coming of age ceremony, called a Bat Mitzvah, when she is "twinned" with Sara Gittler, a young girl her own age who was imprisoned by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust. Laura is to learn about Sara's life and then share her Bat Mitzvah with her "twin" by speaking of her at the ceremony. Sara's diary unfolds with the details of her daily life in the Ghetto, a world full of fear, confusion, tragedy and above all, courage. From Sara's brave story, Laura learns how to find the courage to confront a problem in her own life. Includes photographs, biographies of young heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and true accounts of "Twinning Ceremonies."

Canadian Children's Book Centre
"This book would be a powerful piece to include in Remembrance Day or World War II discussions and a wonderful way to honour the memory of those children who suffered through, were orphaned or died during the Holocaust."
Jewish Book World
"The author beautifully melds historical events with the contemporary issues Laura is facing. Many photographs are included, which helps to bring the story to life. This story of history, faith, and hope belongs in every public and Judaic library and would be a welcomed addition to any Holocaust curriculum. Highly recommended for ages 11 and up."
"Sara's story is appealing, and the explanation of the twinning program is very well done. This book would be a good fit in both public and school libraries."
CM Magazine
"Sara's journal is so well-written that you forget it is historical fiction as you read. Kacer has effectively contrasted the lives of two Jewish girls, Sara in the Warsaw Ghetto and Laura in present day Montreal...Whether you read this novel for your own personal enjoyment or use it as a supplementary resource when teaching grade 6 social studies, this book is well worth reading. Highly recommended."
January Magazine
"The photos throughout the book are well chosen and remind you that while the characters are fictional, the background isn't. In these days of Holocaust denial that's important...A good introduction to the subject for children...The language is simple and even reluctant readers should be able to manage it. Recommended."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2008 | Commended
National Jewish Book Award  | 2008 | Winner
Canadian Jewish Book Award - Frances and Samuel Stein Memorial Award  | 2009 | Winner
Red Cedar Award nominee  | 2011 | Short-listed

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels