Sunday, January 24, 2016

Wiviott, Meg.  Paper Hearts.  Simon & Schuster/McElderry Books  2015  368p.  $17.99  ISBN 978-1-4814-3983-1  ms/hs  Historical fiction  E-BN     

The story is a fictionalized account of a group of girls who become friends in the Auschwitz death camp as they struggle to survive and work in a munitions factory.  In 1944, Zlatka and the other girls make a birthday card for Fania, her best friend in the group, to mark her twentieth birthday.  This undertaking is an enormous risk for them, and the origami heart is treasured and hidden through the remaining time in the camp and the death marches afterward.  The actual heart can be seen at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.  The story is told in verse format and covers flashbacks to life before the war, the dark days in the camp, and the daily struggles and familial losses of the inmates.  It is a tale of love and loss, hope and survival.  Highly recommended for secondary collections.

Summary: Fictionalized account of girls who become friends in the Auschwitz death camp and the risks that they take to make a simple paper birthday card for one member of their group.

Holocaust-Fiction, Novels in verse                          --Stephanie Pennucci

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