BOOK REVIEWS

Hana's Suitcase Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-08-09 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 80 user ratings
ISBN:0807531472
LANGUAGE:English

"What a powerful story! In alternating chapters, Levine tells the story of Hana Brady, a young Czech Jewish girl who was killed in the Holocaust, and that of Fumiko Ishioka, a young Japanese woman who runs the Holocaust Education Center in Tokyo.

When Hana's suitcase arrives as an artifact for display in the museum, Fumiko and the young students who study at the Center are captivated: who was Hana Brady? What happened to her? In response, Fumiko launches a search for more information about Hana's life. Through amazing detective work, she is finally able to locate more information about Hana and her family, and the result is this amazing book.
" said.

" Great book, short read, heartbreaking story - wish I read this as a kid because it seems to be catered towards a lower age group, but important story nonetheless. " said.

" Hana's Suitcase isn't only historical; it's a glimpse into terror, given through the eyes of a child as her belongings are inspected. Each item tells a vivid story of the true horror of WWII, which was possibly one of the darkest moments in human history. Filled with photographs and detailed text, Hana's Suitcase is definitely worth reading. " said.

"This book will break your heart. You know that Hana's story will not have a happy ending, but that is only part of the story. The uplifting part is how a teacher and her students didn't let go of the idea of Hana after getting her suitcase. That they wanted to know more about her, if she was like them. I loved that tracking Hana down lead to her brother. While the initial contact had to open a long bury wound, I loved how George was able to share his sister with people that cared about her and how in her death Hana has reached so many people." said.

"After all these years reading about and studying the Holocaust I am still rocked to my core by the horrors and brought to my knees in tears over the tragic end of millions of people. I am also filled with hope when people take the time and make the effort to delve into one the most ugly parts of human history and find stories of survival, love and life! The fact that we are still seeing atrocities the world over let's me know that human kind is still so ignorant and that survivor's stories and those who didn't make it are so important! Let us never forget and stop letting history repeat itself!!!" said.

"Levine's book introduces use to Hana and Fumiko. We learn about Hana's childhood and journey to Auschwitz, where she is only survived by her brother. Fumiko is a Japanese teacher that is focused on educating her students on the holocaust. She has a suitcase and name, which leads her to learn more about Hana. She contacts Hana's brother hoping for more information without upsetting him. George is overwhelmed but happy to know his sister's memory is alive and honored. The book ends with George traveling to Japan to meet Fumiko and the Japanese school children.

I really liked this story even though it did lacked some of the official feel the other books had. It did not feel like an informational book, but more of a story. The images were the artifacts and citations to me. It was still a very powerful story. I appreciated how it shows the importance of people caring about the Holocaust. If this teacher had not valued Hana's life and her experience – Hana's brother and the kids would not have had this powerful experience. We would not have this book and information to add to our resources.

I would use this book with a more factual one for a Holocaust unit in 4-8th grade. I think a story like this makes the personal connection needed to care about all the facts.
" said.

"Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

HANA'S SUITCASE ON STAGE is the definitive version for those interested in reading this remarkable story for the first time. Containing both the original story, HANA'S SUITCASE, written by Karen Levine, and the play version by well-known playwright Emil Sher, this is a must-have for your keeper shelf.

HANA'S SUITCASE is the story (bestselling, I might add) of a suitcase that arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo in March of 2000. Written in white paint on the outside of the suitcase was the name Hana Brady, the date of May 16, 1931, and the word Waisenkind, which is German for orphan.

Of course the children at the center immediately wondered who Hana was, where the suitcase came from, and who had sent it to them. It was up to the center's director, Fumiko Ishioka, to find the answers to those questions, and many more.

What follows is Mr. Ishioka's search, throughout Europe and North America, to find out any information he could about Hana Brady -- and that fateful suitcase.

In Emil Sher's play version, the story is the same, but brought vividly to life by his playwriting. Perfect either as a story to read or as inspiration for a school drama club, this is the play that you don't want to miss.

Kudos to such a great version: HANA'S SUITCASE ON STAGE is great!
" said.

"This is a sensitively written children's book about a little girl called Hana Brady. A true story about Hana and her family, who lived in Czechoslovakia in the 1930's and what happened to them. The story begins when Fumiko Ishioka the director of a small museum in Tokyo starts to investigate one of the exhibits, a small suitcase with the name Hana Brady written on it. The suitcase came from the Holocaust Museum at Auschwitz concentration camp. Fumiko embarks on a long journey to find out what happened to Hana and we learn, along with her, about this beautiful little girl, her hopes, dreams and fears. The face looking out of the photograph of Hana is one of a very pretty, blond haired, blue eyed girl, she was full of fun and life, a talented skier and skater, loved drawing and playing with her school friends and her brother George. The only thing that was to cause Hana such pain and grief was the fact that she was born a Jew! It didn't matter to the Nazis how beautiful and bright she was, they lived their lives filled with hatred and bigotry and cared nothing for the plight of anyone who stood in their path. Being able to put a face to the name on that suitcase is so touching and in a way makes it easier to visualise the faces of the 6 million other people, all wonderful in their own way who were simply wiped out by Hitler and his evil regime.
This book is a great way for children to learn about the Holocaust, it is succinct, informative and very moving.
" said.

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