Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Rescuing the Children: The Story of the Kindertransport

Hodge, Deborah (Author)
Tundra Books 2012. 60 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9781770492561 (hardcover)
9781770493667 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 940.53
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

character, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Nine months before the outbreak of World War II, countless Jewish families in Germany, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Danzig, fearing the worst, sent away their children, as young as 3 months old, through what were known as Kindertransport rescue missions. This historical introduction to the unthinkable but life-saving relinquishing of children introduces some of the children and sponsors, provides political context, narrates the children’s journeys and their experiences—not always happy ones—in England, and offers plenty of heartbreaking details.

The testimonials are inset throughout each chapter. The book is illustrated with archival photographs and reproductions of documents, portraits and photographs, paintings of pre-war Nazi Germany, as well as art by the rescued children themselves, the bright colours of which liven the dominant palette of military khaki. The images are redolent of deep sorrow and fear—one black and white photograph shows a girl of about six or seven, curled up, her eyes screwed shut, clutching a doll—as well as expressions of hope and gratitude, such as an embroidered message “in honor of FANNY & ABE DAVIS … who saved my life.”

A foreword by a woman who escaped from Berlin on the Kindertransport remembers the “worst of times,” while a concluding note to parents and teachers offers additional historical sources for both children and adults, including reading material, films and websites. The book also includes a lexicon, a timeline and a map of Kindertransport routes.

  •  Read the foreword by Irene N. Watts. Start a KWL chart about the Holocaust and, more specifically, the Kindertransport. Add to your chart as you read.
  •  Choose one of the children featured in the book. Make a timeline of their experience in the Kindertransport.
  •  

    How do the different types of artifacts help you understand the information and relate to the people in the book?

  •  

    With a partner, write a dialogue that might have occurred between a parent and a child, two children, a child and a host, or two others who were part of the Kindertransport. Act out your dialogue for another group.

  •  

    Examine the featured quilt squares that were created by people involved in the Kindertransport. Design a square that represents one of the aspects you feel strongly about.

  •  

    Examine the book cover. What do you know about the Kindertransport? Start a KWL chart and fill in the Know and Want to know sections. As you read, add what you Learn.

  •  

    Explore the illustrations, structures and features. Discuss how this book is organized.

  •  

    Create a timeline of the world events mentioned in the book. In small groups, choose one of the children’s stories and use a different colour to add in events from their personal timeline.

  •  

    Listen to “The Kinder Today” on pages 44-46. Discuss the impact these messages have for you today. How do they connect with current events? Write your connections in your reading log.

  • To cooperate with others
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship