The Year of Goodbyes: Book summary and reviews of The Year of Goodbyes by Debbie Levy

The Year of Goodbyes

A true story of friendship, family and farewells

by Debbie Levy

The Year of Goodbyes by Debbie Levy X
The Year of Goodbyes by Debbie Levy
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Book Summary

This book tells the true story of what happened to a 12-year-old girl named Jutta (Debbie Levy's mother) in 1938. Actual entries in a posiealbum (autograph book) serve as stepping stones in a crucial year in history, when people of Jewish ancestry in Germany and Austria were systematically stripped of their rights, subjected to violence, and arrested without cause. Jutta was one of the lucky ones who escaped to America before the rising tide of violence erupted into World War II and the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Remembrances from Jutta's friends and relatives introduce chapters, written in verse form, that describe her experiences--many of them typical of any teenager anywhere--and report some of the history of the era. Debbie wrote these verses in consultation with her mother to reflect her voice, feelings, and thoughts as she was living through this memorable year. The book also includes excerpts from Jutta's diary. Together the poesie writings, verses and diary entries reflect a year of change and chance, confusion and cruelty. Most of all, they describe a year of goodbyes.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. While abstaining from horrific details, this book clearly presents key historical events, and more importantly, their direct impact on a perceptive girl." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. An outstanding and emotionally taut read for children not quite ready for Jennifer Roy's Yellow Star (Marshall Cavendish, 2006) and other, more graphic depictions of the Holocaust." - School Library Journal

"Similar in scope to Karen Ackerman’s The Night Crossing (1994), this makes a good introduction to Holocaust literature, especially for those who aren’t quite ready for scenes of death camps. Grades 5-8." - Booklist

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