“In 1939, the Germans invaded the town of Lodz, Poland. They forced all of the Jewish people to live in a small part of the city called a ghetto. They built a barbed-wire fence around it and posted Nazi guards to keep everyone inside it. Two hundred and seventy thousand people lived in the Lodz ghetto.
“In 1945, the war ended. The Germans surrendered, and the ghetto was liberated. Out of more than a quarter of a million people, only about 800 walked out of the ghetto. Of those who survived, only twelve were children.
“I was one of the twelve.”
—Excerpt from interview with Sylvia Perlmutter, March 2003
One of twelve children. Of 800 survivors. Out of more than 250,000 Jews condemned to the Lodz ghetto. The statistics are both incredible and horrifying. How did she survive when so many others perished? Yellow Star tells her story.
In Yellow Star, Jennifer Roy tells the story of one Holocaust survivor–her aunt, Syvia (Sylvia). Syvia spent more than five years of her childhood inside the Lodz ghetto. She saw and heard much that she could not understand, but they were things that she would never forget. Syvia’s true story, taken from interviews Jennifer Roy did with her aunt, is enhanced with fictional details that help to make the story complete, personal, and relatable to young readers. The story is written in free verse and is filled with many examples of figurative language that connect with the reader to draw them into the story.
Yellow Star is a brilliant addition to any middle level Holocaust unit. It takes an unfathomable event and brings it to life in a way that truly connects with today’s children. Though some students may balk at the idea of reading this book, with its dreary subject matter and somewhat plain-looking cover, most students come around and end up eagerly devouring the book after they get into it. It is a quick read and full of suspense that keeps kids hooked.
- ages 8 and up
- Lexile score: 710
- 256 pages
- 2006 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award
- 2007 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Honor Book
- 2007 ALA Notable Children’s Book
- 2006 National Jewish Book Awards Finalist
- 2006 School Library Journal Best Book
- 2008 William Allen White Award (Kansas State)
- 2006 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
- 2009 Lamplighter Award
This novel study includes everything that you will need to cover this wonderful story with your students. It truly is a NO PREP packet! It includes:
- Student Packet containing:
- word work
- short answer questions
- writing prompts
- discussion questions
- Vocabulary Bookmark Foldable
- Projects for students to complete after reading the book
- Crossword Puzzle with 15 vocabulary words
- Multiple Choice Quiz
- Vocabulary Matching Quiz
- Complete Answer Key
- Word Cards
- Word Wall Cards
- Dice Game
- CCSS Checklist for grades 3-5
OTHER RESOURCES FROM AROUND THE WEB:
- Yellow Star Story Mapping Prezi
- Curriculum Guide from William Allen White Children’s Book Awards with themes, discussion questions, and activities