Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story by Karen Levine is an incredible journey of a young girl, Hana Brady, who’s suitcase ended up in the Auschwitz museum and then in the hands of a Holocaust curator in Tokyo. Because the children around her as well as herself were so captivated by the suitcase and it’s young owner, the curator does some research. She follows the suitcase back through history to discover the journey on which it has taken, with Hana Brady and her family, to arrive in her museum. This book makes history fun and alive, using Hana Brady and her family as characters for the reader, it really engages as a story as well as being historical facts. The first time I read this book was when I was in grade seven or eight and I enjoyed it very much and it might be why I took history in University.
In my booktalk my main concern was not ruining the plot for the potential reader while making it sound as interesting as possible (Chelton 1976). To make sure I didn’t ruin it, I read the back of the book to make sure what I was going to say would have been evident to them after reading the back. Another thing Chelton mentioned in her article (and that my teacher mentioned in class) is that the book talk should not be longer than a minute (1976). I have a tendency to ramble and get excited about books, I mean, who doesn’t, so writing down my booktalk beforehand is very helpful. But, when I am in the workplace, I am not going to be able to go to my desk and write up a paragraph to read to someone who just wants to know if Pride and Prejudice is worth reading. So, I will have to learn to summarize.
I believe it is appropriate for a new reader to English because there are some pictures to help them along, and even though it is a complex topic, it is not a complex read. It is also appropriate because it covers a couple different nationalities: Japanese (the curator), German (Hana), French (offered in french at chapters/indigo), and I think that the writer is Canadian, which may make some readers more comfortable. Another reason I believe it appropriate would be the length; it is a short book so it isn’t overwhelming. Because the topic is complex for a reader at any age though, I believe it perfectly conceivable that an adult would get just as much enjoyment out of this book as a child might, or more. I know I would.
Link to purchase the book: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/Hanas-Suitcase/9781896764559-item.html?s_campaign=goo-BooksByTitle&mkwid=skVxbYnFU_dc&pcrid=64148307182&pkw=hana’s%20suitcase&pmt=e&s_campaign=goo-Books+By+Title&gclid=Cj0KEQjwqZKxBRDBkNmLt9DejNgBEiQAq8XWPj2U06j7Uh9dSLLKbeOBz5jCDGuBUeARH2GlgPen_v8aAusj8P8HAQ