Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Really, it's a very ordinary looking suitcase. A little tattered around the edges, but in good condition.
Toyko Holocaust Education Resource Center over sixty years later.
Hana's days are spent with her family, ice skating and playing with her big brother, George. She is very athletic and has lots of friends at her school. Her parents run a local store, and the kids help out with the family business. Life is sane, normal, just fine. Hana's family is Jewish. There are a few other Jewish families around, but not very many. No one ever thought anything of it, including Hana. Then, one day, everything changed. The Nazi movement found its way into her small town and turned her world up-side-down.
In 2000, her suitcase arrives at a Holocaust museum in Japan, empty. Written on the front is just a bit about a person called Hana Brady, who was born May 16, 1931. Printed underneath this information is the word Waisenkind, German for orphan. Fumiko and the children at the museum want to know more about this mysterious, empty baggage. Who was Hana Brady? What was her story? They diligently go to work; contacting everyone and anyone who could tell them more about a girl during World War II named Hana Brady. Fumiko remains patient and positive, digging through the vast chasm of endless names of people who passed through the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. In a moment of luck, Fumiko finds a clue that will lead her closer to Hana's small voice, which has been lost for so long among the shadows.
Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine is a wonderfully inspirational book. I found it interesting how Hana's story was told through the landmarks that she touched in her life. I would recommend this book to all readers- it will make you think about how amazingly connected we all are, and how each of us carries our own hidden story, packed away in an empty suitcase, tagged with a label.
Happy Reading! ~ F
Posted by DMS at 6:00:00 AM