Jewish Values: Erika's Story

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24 p.
The story told by Erika is so shocking that few readers will be able to even contemplate it happening to them. Taken as an infant aboard a cattle car with her parents, she was thrown from the train - a tiny bundle swaddled in pink - and rescued. As the adult Erika tells this story, she wonders: "How many hours did my parents stand crushed together?...I wonder where [my mother] stood. Was my father next to her?...Did they talk about what to do?...When did they make their decision?" Innocenti's illustrations match the narrative in drama: they are almost all in somber shades of grey except for the pink bundle and two, non-Holocaust scenes. The gentle style of writing contrasts with the incredible events recounted, adding to the story's impact. Only the cover illustration, of an historically inaccurate five pointed yellow star, hits a false note.
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