BOOK REVIEWS

My Secret Camera Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-12-02 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 17 user ratings
ISBN:1845078926
LANGUAGE:English

" I picked this book up for pretty cheap. I tend to look at the pictures more often than I actually 'read' the book. " said.

" This book would have far more impact without the writing, or if the writing was done by the photographer, not a third party. " said.

"Children's nonfiction featuring the Lodz ghetto photos of Holocaust victim Mendel Grossman...who documented the conditions secretly. He had access to photography eq because his official job was to take ID pictures of the Jews in the ghetto. Smith's captions do a good job capturing the emotion of the times. Mendel did not survive, and unfortunately his 10,000 negatives did not either (destroyed in an Israeli war after surviving a hiding space in the Lodz ghetto during WW2). This is a good intro to children on ghetto life. I think it could be even more powerful if written for an adult audience with other photos. " said.

"Course evaluation:

Personal Response: This is a powerful testament to the inhumanity of the Nazis during WWII and the suffering that so many people experienced. The secretive nature of these pictures captures the harsh life in the ghettos and the raw emotion of people who don’t realize they are being photographed.

Evaluation: The text is written as though Grossman is speaking, giving a unique and intimate perspective to this book. Readers will feel as though Grossman is speaking directly to them, through Smith’s words and through the photographs. The use of space is effective, creating a balance between text and image so that there is no competition for the reader’s attention. The text is centered in white space, accompanied by only a faded Star of David, while the black-and-white photographs fill the opposite page.
" said.

" Authentic pictures are the draw of this book. The text leaves something to be desired. I can't quite put my finger on it...perhaps it is because the sentences are over simplified for a younger audience. I guess it just seems dumbed down. Although written in first person as though the author were telling the photographer's story, it lacks the raw emotion that you would expect to accompany the pictures and makes it less realistic. " said.

"Excellent book that captures photographer Mendal Grossman's experience in Nazi stricken Poland.

My Secret Camera by Frank Dabba Smith, Photographs by Mendel Grossman
• Picture Book length (32 pages)
• Story written as captions to the black and white photographs that Grossman took.
• Photographs take up half to whole page with smaller text.
• Photographs are a perspective from Grossman. He is the one who took these photos to tell a story.
• Shows the groups of people congregating together as one with the yellow Star of David on their jackets to mark their identity.
• Shows child labor, as they are attached as horses to drag something to somewhere.
• Shows women washing the streets.
• Desperate need for food. People are shown sickly thin nibbling at their last bite.
The photographs in this book are much larger. This creates more of an opportunity to see the fine detail on these photos that could be sixty years old. We are able to look into the faces of children and people that Grossman saw around town and jump right into their lives as we turn each page. This conveys information about this time period and draws the reader in. There is a safe sense in knowing that Grossman had a job and worked to develop pictures so I almost have this ideal that nothing could happen to him since he was a working-man for the Nazis during these times.
" said.

"i don't even have the proper words to say...
what CAN be said?

this book of photographs from the lodz ghetto in poland, was actually taken in secret by one of the jewish prisoners.

his whole life he always loved drawing and taking pictures, and so he got the job of taking photos for work permits and of the products that were being made by the prisoners of the ghetto.

his job afforded him access to of course, a camera, but also a darkroom and means of developing his private work.

he had to put the camera in a hidden part of his coat, and stick the lens out in secret, so that he could capture candid moments of daily suffering in the lodz ghetto. and let me tell you...
i don't think these photos were ever meant for children, although the way this book is written, it sort of seems like it is a children's book..
" said.

" Sparse in words, but powerful when one realizes the risk taken and the history that is documented and proved by way of the pictures. " said.

December 2018 New Book:

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