Hedy’s Journey – a Nonfiction Picture Book Review

A nonfiction picture book review from Jean Matthew Hall

Hedy’s Journey is a historical nonfiction picture book based on the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor as shared with her daughter, Michelle Bison, the author. It was illustrated by El primo Ramớn. It was published in 2017 by Capstone Press.

Hedy’s Journey is the true story of a Hungarian girl fleeing the Holocaust with her family during World War II.

The text is matter of fact. It states conditions and events without going into gory details. This leaves plenty of room for parents, grandparents and teachers to explain as many or as few of the details of the Holocaust as they deem appropriate.

The art work is very subdued. It’s obvious that, in most illustrations, the people are sad, confused and frightened. But, again, nothing gory is depicted.

The back matter of the book contains a Timeline of Hedy’s story. That’s especially useful for graphic thinker like me. There are also numerous old photos of Hedy and her family.

I think Hedy’s Journey will make an excellent book for teachers and parents wanting to remind children of the tragedy of the Holocaust, and warn them of the dangers of the future.

I recommend a couple of other books for elementary aged children about the Holocaust. Both were published by Scholastic.

We Fought Back: Teen Resisters of the Holocaust by Allan Zullo ISBN 978-0-545-53179-5.

Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz. It is based on a true story. ISBN 978-0-545-68844-4.

For middle school students I recommend the book and movie by the same title: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. ISBN 978-0-375-84220-7.

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