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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Luba: The Angel of Bergen Belsen
By Michelle R. McCann
Illustrator Ann Marshall
Publisher Tricycle Press

What is a hero? We call many people heroes. Sometimes I think the word has lost much of its meaning. A hero is someone who makes a choice to put the well being of others before their own, especially in the face of great personal peril, even death. Heroes know what the right thing to do is, and they have the courage to act on their convictions. Luba Tryszynska-Frederick is such a hero. Day after day, she looked death in the face so that fifty-four children might survive the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Her story is a miracle, and it started with a miracle. 54 children were dumped in an empty field at Bergen-Belsen, left to die in the cold because their Nazi guards could not shoot them. Luba wondering why she had been spared when so many including her own son had died, found the children and became their savior. For four months until the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, she daily screwed her courage to the sticking point and brought food, clothing, fuel for the stove, and medicine to the children.

Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen is a deftly told tale of dogged courage. While many stories of the Holocaust rightly expose the darkness and horror of the camps, this book is not so much a story of the camps, as a story of one whose light shone in a very dark place.

The back of the book includes information that puts the story into context. It also includes an epilogue that tells us what happened to Luba and the children after the war. Ann Marshall's illustrations, a combination of softly vibrant oil and collage, won't overwhelm children with the true horror these and other children experienced in the Holocaust. Rather the light and joy that she paints will help children understand the choices Luba made. It will teach them that some things are worth sacrifice or personal danger and that each of us can bring light into our world no matter how dark it may be.


Luba: The Angel of Bergen Belsen

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