Friday, May 9, 2014

Running From Giants

About the Book

Combining prose with powerful imagery, Running from Giants follows a young boy’s struggle to survive in Nazi occupied Europe, from the forests where he and his brothers once happily played, to the horrors of the ghetto. While the narrative propels us through Srulik’s gripping true story, the black-and-white art reveals his journey through the imagination of a child caught in a land of giants.

The story opens with Srulik Ackerman enjoying a peaceful childhood in the Polish town of Nowosiolki, until the Nazi whirlwind blows in leaving ten-year-old Srulik suddenly and brutally alone. An eyewitness to the horrors of the Holocaust, Srulik narrowly escapes death several times, only to make a final desperate bid for freedom during a fiery revolt in the ghetto.

Margareta Ackerman was astonished when she learned that her grandfather, Srulik, was a Holocaust survivor. How had he overcome the past with his cheerful attitude and timeless smile intact? In Running from Giants, she retells his amazing story, with its profound message about the incredible strength of the human spirit.

My Review

I have read a good handful of books on or centered around the holocaust. When I got the chance to review this book, I thought it sounded like something I would like. Even though this book is only 86 pages short, I had a good time reading it. The way that the author told her grandfather's story of surviving the holocaust was one I am glad her grandfather shared. I really loved the idea of the illustrations being drawn to help enhance the story. There was nothing too scary that a younger reader could have a problem with by reading this book. In fact, I think this book should be read by everyone who is interested in the holocaust or likes to read memoirs.

About the Author

Margareta Ackerman, PhD. is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivor Srulik Ackerman. She received her PhD. from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and authored over a dozen academic publications, including research on applications of traditional Jewish study methodology to the modern classroom. In addition to her academic career, Margareta is also a semi-professional singer.

Born in Belarus, Margareta spent much of her childhood in Israel. She lives with her husband and son in San Jose, California.

Check out an interview with the author.

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