I introduced the books to the students and made them available to them to read in their free time in class. I used two of them, Yanina Ballerina and Ester Katz, as read alouds to let the students put themselves into that time period. The students picked them up in class whenever they had a free minute and begged to take them to finish reading them. They were really impressed that they were written by students like themselves. They are a great addition to our library on WWII and the Holocaust.
Diane Moritz, 6th Grade Science/Geography
Wilton Elementary School, Wilton, Iowa
I cannot think of anything that could entice young people to become involved in the study of the Holocaust more than to read books about Survivors written and illustrated by their own peers. The fact that the books deal with local Survivors, three remarkable women named Esther, brings children even closer to understanding how the Holocaust touches their own lives.
-Dr. Marrietta Castle
Western Illinois University
Chair, Steering Committee
Jeff Leibovitz Special Collection of Holocaust Education Material
Having children write books personalizing the Holocaust is a deeply meaningful and moving way for them to internalize this horrid period in history. No doubt they will "never forget" their book writing experience and the young readers in the classroom will learn much from it as well.
-Dr. Art Pitz
Scholar in Residence
St. Ambrose University
Adjunct Professor Augustana College
Professor Emeritus Black Hawk College
Fulbright Senior Specialist
A BOOK by ME children's book series gives an entirely different perspective of history because the books are written from a student's perspective. History becomes interesting and important for younger children to learn this way. It adds a new element of educational emphasis when written and illustrated by young people.
Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities
It was great seeing you in the office and learning about your project A BOOK by ME. It is a pleasure to endorse this project. I started to read the materials and stories, and I could not put them down. It was so powerful to read both the student's interpretation, as well as the direct stories from the survivors themselves. I have many times researched and studied the Holocaust, but these stories bring the experience to life. I think it's the utmost importance to enjoin our students to ensure they have a captivating interest and inherited memory of this atrocity. The only way to move forward in a positive way is to understand what is behind and use it to a fuel for healing and positive direction. I understate the obvious when I echo my grandfather's words "We can never allow this to happen again." Unfortunately, on a smaller scale yet as compelling it has indeed reoccurred. Perhaps if the world had a tool this valuable yet simple for our young people, our future, we could all remember and prevent. I wish you paramount success with this project. I am moved beyond words. God bless you and thank you for the compelling work you are doing.
Mary Jean Eisenhower
President and Chief Executive Officer
People to People International
"It lifts my heart to learn that today’s school children are eager to learn about and from this dark era of human history, and that there are school teachers who are eager to teach about it. May these lessons not go unheeded and may each of these young people grow to become warriors in the battle against all hatred and prejudice."
Rabbi Henry Jay Karp