11:20 AM

18) The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

I remember being in summer school of my 4th grade year and seeing one of the smart-yet-still-popular older girls reading this book and it just seemed really intimadating for whatever reason.  Of course, I had no idea what it was about just from the title.  Had I known, I might have been more inclined to read it during my youth, but alas,  I never got around to it.  Now that I'm a 6th grade teacher (HOORAY!), I am required to teach WWII, and I've always been interested studying the Holocaust.

I've read 'The Diary of Anne Frank' of course and that is a staple we'll be reading in my class.  I've also read 'I Have Lived a Thousand Years' by Livia Bitton-Jackson, which was AMAZING.  It was incredibly graphic, but it really made me understand what the Holocaust was like, more so than any documentary or book had up to that point.  My biggest concern was that I wouldn't be able to find an age-appropriate book about the Holocaust that had the same effect on my students.  Thankfully, I decided to read this book and I have deemed it a winner.

Jane Yolen's writing is not overly graphic, which at first I thought meant it wouldn't be as powerful as 'IHLATY'.  I was amazed at how impacted I was by this novel.  It had just enough detail to bring truth to the story, but it wasn't too much to handle.  I'm sure my students will enjoy it.  I'll definitely be using this as a teacher read-aloud when the time for our Holocaust unit comes.