Dorrith M. Sim In My Pocket

ISBN 13: 9780152013578

In My Pocket

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9780152013578: In My Pocket

Told in a child's voice, this story of a young German-Jewish girl who, in 1939, is carried to a new, safe life in a foreign country transcends time and offers an immediate, intimate glimpse into a world on the brink of war.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-4?Based on her own experiences, Sim's account describes in carefully worded text composed of short, simple sentences, what it was like for a seven-year-old child to leave her parents and travel from Germany to London in 1939 to live with an unfamiliar family until the war ended. The text gives little indication of the reason for the trip ("I was on a boat. A boat full of children escaping from danger." Then, "Mutti and Vati told me the boat would take us to a new life"). She explains that in Germany she could not play with other children because she was Jewish. She receives one letter from her parents. ("I kept it with me, safe in my pocket, until there was no more war.") Double-page, impressionist-style oil paintings show children wearing nametags clutching toy cars, stuffed animals, and small suitcases. The slightly blurred faces seem to represent Everychild. The title page and endpapers show the author's own passport and identity document, adding a sense of reality to the narrative. Seen through adult eyes, this brief story, poignant and powerful in its very simplicity, provides a tasteful introduction to the solemn topic of the Holocaust that, despite the tender age of the central character, would be most useful as a springboard for discussion with eight- or nine-year-olds. Follow it with David Adler's The Number on My Grandfather's Arm (UAHC Press, 1987) and Hilde and Eli, Children of the Holocaust (Holiday, 1994).?Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Sim's first picture book powerfully universalizes a life- altering event of her childhood, the sending of German Jewish children away from their parents to the UK where they would be safe from the Nazis. The narrator shares her fears--most children's fears--of having to sleep in a room full of strangers and of others getting lost at night on the way back from the bathrooms on the boat to England. She arrives in Scotland, where she must adapt to the ways of her new, English-speaking, family. The importance of small kindnesses, e.g., the man who returns the narrator's lost stuffed dog, the generosity of the new family, loom large against the backdrop of war. Although the girl receives a letter from her natural parents, the story ends as the child puts the letter away in her pocket, for the time when there is ``no more war.'' It's a devastating close, and for the picture-book audience, the book's one shortcoming, for it leaves an explanation of the parents' fate to those less qualified than the author, or worse, to children's imaginations. Soft illustrations imbue the tale with the blurred edges of memory, and in the children's faces and postures, capture the melancholy surrounding the separation. Reproductions of the author's traveling papers, complete with photo, serve as a poignant reminder of the story's origins in history. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Dorrith M. Sim, Gerald Fitzgerald (Illustrator)
Published by Harcourt (1997)
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Dorrith M. Sim
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Sim, Dorrith M.
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