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The other day on the daily Free Kindle Book List I picked up a gem of a book. My sons, Jadin and Zion, are 10 and 13 years old. They are deep into World War II history and have been for several years. They devour books, documentaries, movies, and love talking with WWII veterans.
Here’s Jadin in his WWII paratrooper uniform. He is always working on creating his own WWII reenactment videos.
I keep my eyes open for both good non-fiction and fiction history readings because I know that my boys will be captivated. So when I saw Running from Giants – The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child on Amazon I snagged it while it was free (it’s no longer free, but if you add it to your watch list you can grab it next time it’s $0.00!). I started reading it that same day during our afternoon read-aloud time. We started it about 3 o’clock, kept reading through dinner, and came up for air again around 6 p.m.
It was that good.
In this story we journeyed through a young boy’s blessed and poetic childhood. We were his brothers, mother, and father. We hid with him in the rye field when the Nazis came to “take care of the Jew problem” in his small village. We found out about his parent’s and brother’s deaths. Next we stayed alive for two weeks in the woods living off of apples, a few berries, and sometimes the kindness of a handful of brave souls in a nearby village.
Running from Giants – The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child took us into the ghetto where more horrors were witnessed and lived. And through it all a spark of hope and a strong determination to live shines through. This boy makes it. He lives. He survives. His story is powerful and shows how those who come out of the most horrid life experiences can still be overcomers and live a life of value and triumph.
This was not written to be non-fiction for children. It is a memoir of the author’s grandfather. I read it to my children with no major edits on my part. There were the expected holocaust horrors of shootings, losing family members, and starvation. Although we’ve read books to my family that are heavy on those details I felt those details were “light” in this book, compared to most.
As a parent I could tell when an aspect of the story was leading up to an intense moment and I paused a minute to read a page ahead if I felt concerned. The most intense part of this book was a mention of Nazi officers taking babies from mothers’ arms and smashing their heads on a brick wall. Awful, I know, but not a theme that was revisited.
Overall, in my opinion, it was a great afternoon read for my family. It was a memoir that introduced our family to another holocaust hero. We will now carry his story in our hearts and recall it as we read other works based on this time period.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Running from Giants – The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child you can read the reviews here.
What are you reading?