My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an engaging and simply told tale of Leon’s years as a child of the Holocaust. One of the lucky 1200 Jews on Oskar Schindler’s legendary list, Leon’s life was one of hardship, loss and terrible personal suffering. To not only have survived, but gone on to emigrate to the US and build a new life, is amazing and inspiring.
It is clear right from the outset that Leon wants to share his story so the sins of the past will not be repeated. It is interesting to read his reaction when he boards a bus in the South during the 1960s. Moving to the back of the bus, as he has always done (because as Jews they were always crammed into the back of the bus), he is told not to do so because that is where the negroes belong. He recalls being confused and saddened that such discrimination could take place in a country that called itself the land of the free.
The photograph of the page of Schindler’s list that contains Leon’s name (his real name is Leib Lejzon)is poignant, as are the photos of members of his family that were lost to the Holocaust.
Whilst the subject matter is, obviously, confronting, the style is suitable for Year 5 and up and could be used as a companion to Morris Gleitzman’s Once.