It Rained Warm Bread: Moishe Moskowitz's Story of Hope
It Rained Warm Bread: Moishe Moskowitz's Story of Hope
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Annotation: A fictionalized account of the experiences of a Polish Jew, Moishe, who with his parents, brother, and sister, struggles to survive the Nazi invasion and Holocaust.
Catalog Number: #194448
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Lyon, Lea,
Pages: 148 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-250-16572-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-16572-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018039243
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
In 1939, 13-year-old Moishe Moskowitz and his family struggle after the Nazis invade Poland. Life is particularly difficult for the Jewish Moskowitzs: they are first confined to a ghetto where Moishe's mother must sell her jewelry for food; later they are packed into cattle cars and shipped to an extermination camp; and, during a transfer to another camp, some Czech women toss fresh loaves of bread to the prisoners in a rare gesture of kindness. Smith's short, evocative poems highlight significant incidents from Moishe's perspective as he survives against nearly impossible odds. The author makes good use of poetic devices (Nazis are compared to wolves, stalking their prey), and while eschewing most graphic violence, the poems convey the sheer determination of survivors: "It is not good soup, / but I make sure every drop finds its way / to my mouth. / Hope must be fed." Lyon's sepia-toned art depicts the story's many emotions, especially the fear and loneliness that are Moishe's constant companions. The story is based on the experiences of Moskowitz-Sweet's father, and she offers additional details in an appended note.
Kirkus Reviews
Moishe Moskowitz's painful experiences in the Holocaust are expressed in brief, gut-wrenching poems.Moishe knows fear; he must avoid the Polish boys who will beat him for being Jewish. When the Nazis come in 1939, the danger grows exponentially, but they "could not have imagined such evil" would engulf them. Moishe views the Nazis as prowling, voracious wolves, and that metaphor is used throughout the poems. Changes come quickly: yellow stars, disappearances, and forced labor. They are driven from their home and pushed into a ghetto, followed by liquidation, murders, and deportation to the concentration camps. His family is torn from him, as "the Nazis peel us like onions," his mother and sister, father, brother. He endures unending deprivation and starvation. Kindness is rare and punishable by death, but a Christian friend hides the family in the early days, a political prisoner gives him a bit of extra food, and, near the end, a group of Czech women throw warm, fresh bread into the cattle cars. Gray-toned thumbnail sketches can only hint at the devastating emotions. Moishe's daughter provides the story, as told to her by her father, and entrusts Smith to pen poems that strike at the heart of each moment, each fear, each horror and make it personal for readers even as time erases witnesses.A deeply moving, beautifully written portrayal of an evil that cannot be allowed to be forgotten. (author's note) (Historical verse fiction. 10-adult)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Moishe Moskowitz's painful experiences in the Holocaust are expressed in brief, gut-wrenching poems.Moishe knows fear; he must avoid the Polish boys who will beat him for being Jewish. When the Nazis come in 1939, the danger grows exponentially, but they "could not have imagined such evil" would engulf them. Moishe views the Nazis as prowling, voracious wolves, and that metaphor is used throughout the poems. Changes come quickly: yellow stars, disappearances, and forced labor. They are driven from their home and pushed into a ghetto, followed by liquidation, murders, and deportation to the concentration camps. His family is torn from him, as "the Nazis peel us like onions," his mother and sister, father, brother. He endures unending deprivation and starvation. Kindness is rare and punishable by death, but a Christian friend hides the family in the early days, a political prisoner gives him a bit of extra food, and, near the end, a group of Czech women throw warm, fresh bread into the cattle cars. Gray-toned thumbnail sketches can only hint at the devastating emotions. Moishe's daughter provides the story, as told to her by her father, and entrusts Smith to pen poems that strike at the heart of each moment, each fear, each horror and make it personal for readers even as time erases witnesses.A deeply moving, beautifully written portrayal of an evil that cannot be allowed to be forgotten. (author's note) (Historical verse fiction. 10-adult)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (8/1/19)
Horn Book
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: 550L

A powerful middle grade novel-in-verse about one boy's experience surviving the Holocaust. Moishe Moskowitz was thirteen when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family learned the language of fear. The wolves loomed at every corner, yet Moishe still held on to the blessings of his mother's blueberry pierogis, of celebrating the Sabbath as a family, of a loyal friend. But each day the darkness weighed more heavily on Moishe as his family was broken, uprooted, and scattered across labor and concentration camps. Just as his last hopes began to dim, a simple act of kindness redeemed his faith that goodness could survive the trials of war: That was the day it rained warm bread. Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet relates her father's triumphant Holocaust story through the words of award-winning poet Hope Anita Smith. Deftly articulated and beautifully illustrated by Lea Lyon, this is an essential addition to the ever-important collection of Holocaust testimonies. Christy Ottaviano Books


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