Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why is Great-Grandma So Sad? by Susan Heagy Book Review

Though this book is written for children ages 7 to 14, it is also intended for any age of people who have difficulty reading anything having to do with the Holocaust of WWII. This story is presented from the personal perspective of a family in the midst of the Holocaust, without trauma but historically correct. Sarah, at the age of seven, does not understand the extreme sadness her great grandmother portrays, prompting her to ask her mother the question, Why is Great Grandma so sad? Her mother decides it is time to relate the Holocaust experience of Great Grandma Hannah beginning at the same age as Sarah. This story gives an account of a family experiencing the onset of WWII, ghetto life, being sent to a concentration camp and the unusual circumstances surrounding their struggle to survive. Through the dialog Sarah comes to have a new view of her great grandmother, Hannah, as a child. Hannah, through necessity, grows up all too quickly. But while she endures these changes and experiences and during times of hiding, her doll Rachael is always there as a confidant and constant companion in her loneliness. She hears also of an unbelievable time when the Jewish people were treated horribly and unfairly. Sarah comes to realize how the Jews, her own people, demonstrated strength and resilience when under pressure, determined to survive. This story brings to life the sadness, and the hope, tightly interwoven in the lives of those who survived the Holocaust culminating with a surprise ending. Throughout this dialog Sarah learns along with the child Hannah about a time in history no one should ever forget. It is the hope of the author that those reading this book will also learn the truth of that time and not allow the voices of those who experienced it to be silenced. This story of Great Grandma is historical fiction. The family is not real but the experiences are. Based on several Survivors of the Shoah, their true life war accounts are included in the book.

Susan E. Heagy is founder and president of Abundant Hope International (AHI), a leading non-profit organization providing relational and humanitarian aid assistance to Holocaust Survivors in Israel. AHI offers education to both the public and private sector and global relationships with Survivors of the Shoah are established to address the trauma and PTSD suffered from WWII.
Susan brings with her experience obtained through management, staff training, corporate oversight and promotions in the movie theatre industry. Whether she was promoting movies like “The Mexican” with flamenco dancers or a golf movie with putting greens, she has implemented a creative approach with an eye to increased revenue and wide success.

Susan has devoted her entire career since 2004 to the philanthropic and nonprofit sector developing programs to encourage the public sector to join AHI in assisting the Survivors.

Dividing her time between Israel and speaking tours in the USA and various countries, she visits with her four children and five grandchildren in America.
Ms. Heagy is available to speak on request with the purpose of educating about the many aspects not generally known of the Holocaust of WWII and those who survived. She shares the personal war accounts of the individual Survivors with the intent of making sure they are never forgotten.

My thoughts:

As my family remembers Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day). I was delighted to receive such a touching book to share with my kids this year. Every year we acknowledge this horrific day. We attend a memorial in town and talk about it. I always remind my kids that they must never forget what happened.  

The message is powerful one within the pages of this story. A quote from the book that is so important, “Tell them remember the Holocaust so it doesn’t happen again.”

The illustrations are powerful all in colored pencils. They are appropriate for young kids but, at the same time they tell a powerful heartfelt message. Most kids couldn’t imagine what it would be like living in a ghetto or a concentration camp, being hungry, or having to do the things that children had to do to survive during WWII.

There are six chapters in this story. At the end of the book a timeline from 1933-1948 that covers the WWII Holocaust History. A glossary to help you understand the Holocaust terms used in the story. 

A very touching Holocaust Survivor Biography of seven individuals that survived the Holocaust. Each Biography is a paragraph or two and has a picture of all seven survivors. All the survivors were children and tell a bit about their experiences from the Holocaust.

I am amazed at how many children don’t’ know what the Holocaust is. I’ve never been shy about it with my kids. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Teach your children what happened. If you don’t know how to tell your kids about the Holocaust then this is a perfect book for you to introduce this difficult subject to them. 

I hope that this book will be used in schools, churches, and home library’s to teach about the Holocaust. Some kids don’t even know what happened in WWII to the Jewish people. They must know what happened and it’s our job to tell them. This story can also be for adults. It’s a very touching and important story for all ages. 

I 100% recommend this book.

Abundant Hope International
You can  buy this book on Amazon.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  

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