The Promise

Pnina Bat Zvi and Margie Wolfe, illus. by Isabelle Cardinal. Second Story, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77260-058-2
Sisters Rachel and Toby haven’t seen their parents since Nazi soldiers broke their family apart, but they cherish and support each other as they endure life in Auschwitz. They fiercely guard three gold coins, hidden in a shoe polish tin, that their father gave them before they parted. When Rachel falls ill, Toby must finally put the coins to use to bribe a guard and rescue her sister. Based on family history, this picture book for older readers tells a riveting survival story that ends on a note of hope: the sisters who inspired the book grew up to become the authors’ mothers. With tightly paced scenes and tense dialogue, Zvi and Wolfe create a terrifying sense of immediacy that is extended in the photorealistic digital collages, which focus on faces, from the shouting guards and snarling dogs to the determined sisters. An unusual, powerful look at the horrors of life in the camps and the courage and resilience of those who survived. Ages 7–10. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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