Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story

by Karen Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Awards for Hana’s Suitcase:  ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, Sydney Taylor Award,  Special Recognition Award, National Jewish Book Award, Bank Street College Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Nonfiction, IRA Children’s Book Award for Notable Intermediate Nonfiction, NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, IBBY Honour List, UNICEF/Ungari Award Winner – Best Children’s Book, IRA Teacher’s Choice, Great Lakes Great Books Award Winner, Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Master List, and Yad Vashem Prize for Children’s Holocaust Literature

Hanas Suitcase


Hana’s Suitcase is simply an amazing, inspiring book. I’m so glad I was able to read all about Hana and her life. While it is a book for elementary and middle grade readers I think older readers would get just as much out of it as a younger reader. We all know about Anne Frank but there are so many peoples stories that we have not heard of or had the privilege to read. Hanna was one of them and I have made it my goal for 2016 to seek out more books like Hana’s Suitcase.

This book is full of facts many can scary and sad for the reader or child listener. The author does a great job at presenting the material and story. I love how she jumped back and forth from Hana’s story to Fumiko’s story and how because of the Small Wings club and children of the Holocaust Education Center in Tokyo we all get the honor of known all about this amazing brave little girl.

I’m so glad they were able to locate her brother George and he was able to see the huge impact that their life made on these kids as well as all the visitors of the center. Hana always wanted to teach and I feel that she achieved her dream because she is teaching all those who read and share her story! This book needs to be in all homes, libraries and classrooms.

If I could I’d give this more that 5 stars because this book is that moving. Thank you Random House Kids for sending me a copy of Hana’s Suitcase all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.


PB&J Hooray

Your Sandwiches Amazing Journey from Farm to Table

by Janet Nolan

illustrated by Julia Patton

PB&J Hooray


This is a cute little picture book that is full of information. It is presented in an easy to follow format for the younger listeners and not to many big words for beginning readers. There is a part of the book that becomes a chant that can be found throughout the book that I can see being a lot of fun for kids to say along with the reader.

PB&J Hooray tells the story of how the PB&J sandwich comes about. From the trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to the delivery truck that get’s it from the bakery and factory. It talks about how the peanuts, grapes and wheat grow to become the key ingredients in this yummy sandwich. This book is a great way to get kids thinking about what all it takes to make their favorite dishes. It’s never too early to get kids thinking about healthy choices and the journey from the farm to the table.

summary: From peanut, grape, and wheat seeds to sandwich, PB&J Hooray! is all about how peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are made. The story begins with the kitchen and works backward to the shopping, delivery, production, harvesting, farming, and planting processes! In fun, rhythmic language, readers discover how peanuts become peanut butter, grapes are made into jelly, and wheat turns into bread.

Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust

by Jennifer Roy

Capstone Young Readers

Publication Date: August 1st 2015

Jars of Hope

Amid the horrors of World War II, Irena Sendler was an unlikely and unsung hero. While many people lived in fear of the Nazis, Irena defied them, even though it could have meant her life. She kept records of the children she helped smuggle away from the Nazis’ grasp, and when she feared her work might be discovered, she buried her lists in jars, hoping to someday recover them and reunite children with their parents. This gripping true story of a woman who took it upon herself to help save 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust is not only inspirational; it’s unforgettable.

Jars of Hope is an amazing book and one I am so glad I was able to read. This is a picture book but the content might not be suitable for younger children that most picture books are geared towards. This picture book is more for older children.  Jars of Hope is packed full of hope and how just 1 person can become a beacon of light and hope for so many.  Irena Sendler knew she had to do the right thing even when it meant that getting caught would mean death. Jars of Hope is one book that everyone should read. This picture book tells the story of a true hero and is historical non fiction at it’s best! This book is a great introduction for younger kids who want to read and learn about the holocaust but are not ready for Diary of Anne Frank, Number the Stars or Yellow Star. Jennifer  Roy wrote Yellow Star and I want to say if you haven’t read it yet or have older kids grab a copy while your pick up Jars of Hope both are books that should be read and added to every home library.

thank you netgalley, Capstone Young Readers and Jennifer Roy for allowing me to read and review Jars of Hope. It was an honor and all thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.