Mommy Book Club meets every other week, discussing one book in portions every month. You don't have to worry about bringing your kids, because we all will!
October Selection: My Real Name Is Hanna, by Tara Lynn Misih.
We'll discuss the first half on October 9th (online in the Facebook group only, as the The Big Semiannual Sale! is happening in-store) and the second half on October 23rd.
*Physical books aren't working in your busy mom life? You can get the digital audiobook here: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781982573416?bookstore=katybooks
Inspired by the story of Esther Stermer and her family who escaped the Nazi's and survived underground for 511 days.
1941, Hitler's army crosses into Soviet-ruled Ukraine in a secret mission titled "Operation Barbarossa. A young Jewish girl, Hanna Slivka is fourteen when German soldiers arrive in her small village of Kwasova. Until their arrival, Hanna has split her time between playing with her younger siblings, sharing drawings with the sweet shy Leon Stadnick, and assisting her neighbor, Mrs. Petrovich, with her annual dyeing and selling of psyanky, decorative eggs. But now, she, Leon and their families are forced into hiding, first in the woods outside of their town and then into caverns beneath it. They battle sickness and starvation, and the local peasants who join the Nazis in hunting Jews through the ravaged countryside, but at no time are they more tested than when Hanna's father – briefly above ground to scavenge for food – goes missing, and suddenly, it's on Hanna to find him, and to find a way to keep her mother, brother and sister alive. This novel is inspired by the true story of Esther Stermer and her family, who survived underground for 511 days. Less than 5% of the Jewish population in Ukraine survived these Holocaust "Actions."
“Tara Masih’s lovely, lyrical My Real Name is Hanna made me feel like I was reading a part of my parents’ story that I’d neglected to write. Filled with breathtaking you-are-there historical detail, filigreed with touches of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, Masih’s tale of a young Jewish girl hiding out in the caves and forests of the Ukraine is a worthy addition to the canon of Holocaust literature for young readers. As fine, delicate, and artful as a painted pysanka egg.”–Helen Maryles Shankman, They Were Like Family to Me, finalist for The 2016 Story Prize
“It’s said the Holocaust defies imagination. Tara L. Masih defies that notion. My Real Name is Hanna is a powerful, revelatory leap of imagination, taking readers on a journey with 14-year-old Hanna from the slowly enveloping horror of the Holocaust, to the literal and spiritual depths of being buried alive, and finally a salvation of ineffable joy and sadness—emerging from a premature grave into sunlight like a defiant young phoenix. An unforgettable odyssey.”–Greg Dawson, Hiding in the Spotlight: A Musical Prodigy’s Story of Survival
“My Real name is Hanna is a beautifully told and deeply moving novel. Masih is to be commended for shining light on a little-known piece of Ukrainian history and for portraying a Jewish family determined to survive the Second World War. This novel is about the stories that surround and sustain us in the darkest times—from the histories in the trees and in the ground beneath us to the words that feed us.”–New York Times Bestselling Author Tilar J. Mazzeo, Irena’s Children, a New York Post Best Book of 2016
“From the very first lines, this is a beautiful, compelling story. I was moved again and again by Hanna’s courage. It takes a strong imagination and a great heart to bring to life a Jewish family’s struggle to survive in such a dark time as World War II. In bringing light to the caves of memory, Tara Masih gives us the redeeming power of storytelling in this extraordinary story.”–PEN/Hemingway Award winner Bobbie Ann Mason, The Girl in the Blue Beret and In Country