Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

It was an honor to speak at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) on Friday, October 23. This is the oldest Holocaust museum in the United States. In 1961 at Hollywood High School, a group of Holocaust Survivors taking English as a Second Language classes found one another and shared their experiences. They discovered that each of them had a photograph, concentration camp uniform, or other precious primary source object from the Holocaust era. They decided that these artifacts needed a permanent home where they could be displayed safely and in perpetuity. They also wanted a place to memorialize their dead and help to educate the world so that no one would ever forget. Some of thes

Speaking in LA

I spoke in three eighth grade classrooms at the Sinai Akiba Academy in Los Angeles today. The kids were so sweet and seemed impressed with the book series. They especially liked the Anne Frank / Iowa connection and the story of Eva Schloss (whose mother married Otto Frank after the war). It appeared history came alive for the students when I talked about my young author's accomplishments. A teacher stopped me afterward saying her students were excited to write a story and at the same time, two girls came up and said they couldn't wait to get started. There are so many stories to tell in the Los Angeles area so it's very exciting to think of these students searching for stories to tell. I'm h

Museum of Tolerance - Iowa Connection

I've heard some incredible stories since I started working with the stories of World War II. One of my favorites is the Anne and Margot Frank / Juanita and Betty Wagner pen pal story. The Iowa pen pal connection was one that had a profound effect on me for two reasons: 1) Anne Frank was my hero when I was in the fourth grade. I wrote about that in my book A Walk With Esther. Anne was so real to me and I read the diary over and over. 2) Anne didn't have a pen pal in NYC or LA, she had a pen pal in Iowa. The girl's name was Juanita Wagner and their sisters wrote to one another too. That's amazing to me and I was so thrilled when two young ladies from Burlington said they would capture the stor

Siblings in Chula Vista Capture Survivor Story

Sisters Eliana and Salma Chabner worked diligently to write and illustrate the important story of Jewish survivor Ruth Goldschmied Sax. It was Eliana's bat mitzvah project and her older sister was happy to give her a hand completing it. The girls loved meeting Ruth and hearing her story, then documenting it for young readers. As a young girl in Czechoslovakia, Ruth's parents tried to escape the Nazis horrors but weren't able to. They suffered in the death camps watching thousands upon thousands of people die there. Thankfully, they survived and after the war, Ruth married survivor Kurt Sax. They lived a happy life in San Diego, CA. Kurt passed away in 2012 but his memory lives on through Rut

Esther from Laguna

You may already know how important the three Esther's in the Quad Cities were in my starting A BOOK by ME. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a Jewish survivor in Laguna, California whose name is Esther as well. She would like her story told by a young author. Esther and her husband graciously invited me to their home for lunch. There she told me the story of horror for her family during the Nazi reign of terror. Soon she will meet with a writing coach and a young person from San Diego. I'm making the arrangements for her young author now. This Esther who was born in Boryslav, Poland in 1934. Both her father and mother were hard-working and successful jewelers. Esther's nanny was a Ukr

Hollywood Actor's Story told through A BOOK by ME

Ava Goodson, age 10, of East Moline, Illinois was born with Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair or a walker. With limited fine motor skills, Ava became an avid reader at a very young age. She loves to research after reading a book, so she got a laptop early as well. Since she can't run and play, she does more reading and researching than most kids. She wrote a book for the A BOOK by ME series two years ago and today Peaches & Wheelchairs has been donated to elementary school libraries in Rock Island County thanks to a grant from Tyson Chicken. This title is now available on Amazon.com. For the past two years, Ava has been hoping to meet a Holocaust survivor whose story she could write. Fina

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