Four Perfect Pebbles:: A Holocaust Story

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Nov 3, 1999 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 144 pages

If she could find four perfect pebbles of almost exactly the same size and shape, it meant that her family would remain whole. Mama and papa and she and Albert would survive Bergen-Belsen. The four of them might even survive the Nazis' attempt to destroy every last Jew in Europe.

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User Review  - TFS93 - www.librarything.com

Heartwrenching! This one is perfect for younger children, it doesn't sugarcoat, but it also doesn't give graphic detail, so kids can think and draw their own conclusions about how horrible the ... Read full review

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User Review  - JanaRose1 - www.librarything.com

Marion was almost five years old when her family fled Germany for Holland. Despite the visas and tickets they had to immigrate to the United States, they were unable to leave Europe once the Germans ... Read full review

References to this book

About the author (1999)

In Her Own Words...

"I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and had a very ordinary and uneventful (as it seemed to me) childhood. I read voraciously, but it never occurred to me that I would one day become a writer. For one thing, I had never met a "real, live author," as young people do nowadays in their schools and libraries. And, in any case, most of the writers I read in my growing-up years, like Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott, were dead.

"I didn't begin to publish juvenile fiction and nonfiction until my own children were in the fourth or fifth grades at school. I was stimulated by their expanding interests and by the realization that I had a great need to explore the longsilent world of my own childhood.

"Soon I was writing contemporary novels for middle-graders, among them the "Fat Glenda" series. I also became intrigued with the reaches and challenges of nonfiction. I ventured into the American culinary past with titles like Slumps, Grunts, and Snickerdoodles: What Colonial America Ate and Why (Clarion). And I traveled to distant Egypt to do on-site research for Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure (Clarion).

"When I met Marion Blumenthal Lazan/A and heard her speak about her experiences as a child survivor of the Holocaust, I knew that here was a story that had to be put into book form.

"As part of the Blumenthal family's six-and-a-half years under the Nazi yoke, Marion/a, her parents, and her brother spent fourteen months in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany. This was the very camp in which Anne Frank had died ... and at the same time that Marion and her family were there. Anne Frank left us no writings of her life in the camps. But Marion was able to convey to us the details of daily life, and of death, in that place of most indescribable horror.

"When Marion told me about the "four perfect pebbles" that she sought to gather each day on the barren grounds of the camp, I felt that that would be the perfect title for the book. For the lonely and frightened nine-year-old, the sets of matching pebbles offered some kind of assurance that Mama, Papa, her brother, Albert, and she would survive Bergen-Belsen, if not the war-long effects of the Holocaust itself.

"It's a source of great pride to me that Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story, which agreed to co-author at great emotional expense, is my fiftieth published book."

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