Speaking in the first person, directly to readers, Rosen explains the unexplainable in simple but not simplistic language, presenting facts without sugarcoating them or underestimating children’s ability to comprehend…An important work that is immensely personal, powerful, and heart-wrenching.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The language is simple, and the content is covered in a way that is not traumatic for young readers. The back matter, which includes further reading, photos, and letters, is a helpful resource. Recommended for upper elementary or middle school libraries that need to expand their World War II collection.
—School Library Journal
This memoir is shaped into prose chapters that discuss family stories, genealogical research, and historical context, followed by Rosen’s poems (many previously published) that respond to the chapter’s theme. Background on the Rosen generational relationships can be rather tangled and slow going, but it’s necessary preparation for Rosen’s eventual discovery of how shame may have figured into his elders’ reticence to talk about the family they lost. The dialogue between poetry and prose may serve as an engaging model for youth who are plumbing their own family’s stories and secrets.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
This poignant memoir documents the author and poet’s genealogical detective work to discover his relatives’ fates during WWII…Alternating between prose and poetry, the accessible narrative includes poignant poems that underscore the search and deepen understanding of both Rosen’s family and his drive to uncover the truth. Supplemented by black-and-white photographs, a comprehensive family tree, and an extensive list for further reading, this multifaceted tome offers a potent, personal look at family history and the Holocaust, with a rousing call against ongoing prejudice and contemporary crises.