Jewish Values: Willy and Max: A Holocaust Story

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40 p.
When Willy was a boy in Antwerp, he became friends with a Jewish boy named Max, whose father purchased a painting of "The Lady" from Willy's father's antique shop. Lushly colored, soft-edged illustrations and a gentle text evoke a world of childhood camaraderie clouded by war and the Nazi invasion of Belgium. Before Max and his father flee Antwerp they bring the painting to Willy's father, asking that he hide it for them. That is not to be: the painting is stolen by a German. At this point, the story fast forwards to the present, when Will, now an old man living in America, is called by a museum curator, who has traced the painting to him. Will sees that it is turned over to Max's family, in memory of his friendship with Max. As well as being very moving story, Willy and Max also deals with a subject - stolen art - that has not appeared in Judaic children's literature previously. It is highly recommended and accessible to children as young as third grade.
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Sydney Taylor Winner: