Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust

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Modern Age

Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust
Author: Shusterman, Neal
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1940-1945
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: various
Topics: Holocaust, Jewish Resistance
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Reading Age: Upper Middle Grade, Young Adult
Format: Graphic Novel
Published: 2023

World History > Modern Age > WWII / Holocaust

National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman and acclaimed illustrator Andrés Vera Martínez present a graphic novel exploring the Holocaust through surreal visions and a textured canvas of heroism and hope.

Courage to Dream plunges readers into the Holocaust - one of the greatest atrocities in human history - delving into the core of what it means to face the extinction of everything and everyone you hold dear.

This gripping, multifaceted tapestry is woven from Jewish folklore and cultural history. Five interlocking narratives explore one common story - the tradition of resistance and uplift. Neal Shusterman and Andrés Vera Martínez are internationally renowned creators who have collaborated on a masterwork that encourages the compassionate, bold reaching for a dream.

Emily's Review

I have been waiting for this book for over a year. When I heard Neal Shusterman was writing a Holocaust story, I was both excited and nervous. I heard it would be fantastical, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that. But he's one of my favorite writers, and I really wanted to love this book.

And you know what? I did love it. He brought something new and unique to the table, and it worked. This is a graphic novel collection of 4 short stories all using a fantastical element to explore this ugly period of history. Each story is about hope and courage. There is a lot of Jewish mythology and folklore included in the stories, which I loved. The last story really hit me hard - I cried for a few minutes after closing the book, I won't spoil it, but it's something I think about often, and for him to write a story about it...oof. I wasn't expecting it and it hurt in the best way.

I think this would pair very well with any study of the Holocaust. I appreciate that he focuses on finding hope in the darkness in this collection. It can be easy to dwell in the horribleness, it the sadness, but we need to remember to be courage and to have hope.

Highly recommend for ages 12+

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