Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Running From Giants, A Book Review

Running From Giants: The Holocaust Through The Eyes of a Child by Margareta Ackerman is the perfect Holocaust book for those who want to get to the very gist of that terrible time in history. It's a very quick read and suitable for children. Actually, I think it was really written more for children than for adults.

Running From Giants is not a history book. It's a memoir of the author's grandfather told and written through the eyes of a child. Even though though Srulik was an old man when he finally told the story to his granddaughter, he expressed himself as if he was back in his amazing childhood. Obviously it's the story of a survivor. To get a taste of the book, here's part of an interview the author published:
Maya: Do you ever think about your past?
Srulik: I think about it frequently, how else?
Maya: Then how do you manage to stay so happy?
Srulik: Because I went through such a difficult, scary life. Because of this I greatly value life. Because of this I am happy.
I heard similar sentiments expressed by others, but I know that this cannot be the whole story. So often we do just the opposite! We attribute being miserable today to things that happen in our past. Surely, something is missing.
I try a different approach.

Maya: How do you stay happy on a daily basis?
Srulik: You need to learn to be happy from any success. Any success at all. Even good weather counts. When some misfortune happens, we need to view it with humor and think of it as temporary. Distract yourself with something. Think of something else.
It didn't take me long to read Running From Giants: The Holocaust Through The Eyes of a Child. I ended up reading it on the bus, to a from a trip to Jerusalem. I don't have a "tablet" and kept hearing that there were awful traffic jams. So I took the lightest book with me. It's only 81  pages. I definitely recommend it.

Not only is it suitable even for young children, but the author has prepared study guides which can be used in the classroom or even at home to help children get the maximum out of the book.  It can be bought through Amazon.

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