Chance: Escape from the Holocaust

Uri Shulevitz. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-31371-5
This searing, evocative memoir chronicles the wartime experiences of Caldecott Medalist Shulevitz, whose family fled 1939 Warsaw to avoid persecution when he was four years old, only to suffer starvation and other tribulations in the Soviet Union, Poland, and Germany before eventually settling in Paris. The spare, keenly observed narrative offers a harrowing look at a Jewish family’s plight during WWII while documenting the birth of an artist with a great capacity for creativity: Shulevitz draws stick figures in profile before the war, sketches “with my finger in the air” to distract himself from hunger in Turkestan, and hones his craft to win a citywide drawing competition in Paris. Stark and powerful black-and-white drawings by the author underscore gritty realities: people forced to carry water after Nazi planes bomb Warsaw, tension and fear in a truck bound for Białystok, confrontations with Soviet officials, and a crowded bed the family inhabits in a settlement work camp. This affecting memoir of Shulevitz’s childhood as a war refugee provides a deeply personal testament to the power of art. Ages 8–14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/09/2020
Release date: 08/25/2020
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-75994-8
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