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Children of the Holocaust Literature Circles

last modified on 02/27/2011

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These fiction novels are the options given to my students in a "Children of the Holocaust" thematic unit. Students read in literature circles, so the books are selected considering a male and female audience as well as the diverse reading levels in the sixth grade classroom: 510 to 730 Lexile Levels.

Total: 6
Status: Public
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Daniel's Story

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 7

Grade Level Equivalent: 6.3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Memories of happiness and safety are fading as Daniel and his family are forced from their comfortable home in Frankfurt to go first to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, and then to the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Daniel now asks himself the simplest of questions ? What has happened to me? Who am I? Where am I going? and cannot begin to find answers. Recording the Nazi atrocities with a smuggled camera, Daniel is exposed to the savageries of an extreme prejudice unleashed.

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Jacob's Rescue: A Holocaust Story

Interest Level: Grades 4 - 7

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Once Jacob Gutgeld lived with his family in a beautiful house in Warsaw, Poland. He went to school and played hide-and-seek in the woods with his friends. But everything changed the day the Nazi soldiers invaded in 1939. Suddenly it wasn't safe to be Jewish anymore.

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Milkweed

Interest Level: Grades 5 - 9

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.2

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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He's a boy who lives in the streets of Warsaw. He's a boy who steals food for himself and the other orphans. He's a boy who believes in bread, and mothers, and angels. He's a boy who wants to be a Nazi some day, with tall shiny jackboots and a gleaming Eagle hat of his own. Until the day that suddenly makes him change his mind. And when the trains come to empty the Jews from the ghetto of the damned, he's a boy who realizes it's safest of all to be nobody.

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Number the Stars

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.1

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Ten-year-old Annemarie and her best friend Ellen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943, and their life is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews are "relocated," Ellen moves in with Annemarie's family and pretends to be one of them, yet her life is still in danger.

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Interest Level: Grades 6 - 8

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.1

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Hannah is tired of hearing about the Nazis during the Holocaust, but when she opens the door for Elijah at the Passover Seder, she is transported in time to 1940s Poland, where she is captured and put in a death camp. A girl named Rivka befriends her, teaching her how to fight the dehumanization of the camp and hold onto her identity.

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Yellow Star

Interest Level: Grades 6 - 8

Grade Level Equivalent: 6.1

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Of the 270,000 people forced into the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland by the occupying Germans, Sylvia was one of only 12 children to survive. Based on her experiences and told from her perspective from the age of four through liberation as an eleven-year old in 1945, her astute and detail-filled observations bring the experience of the Jewish ghetto to life. A stunning, poetic recreation of a life lived within the horror that was the Holocaust.

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