Chance: Escape from the Holocaust: Memories of a Refugee Childhood

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Product Details

$34.99  $32.54
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Publish Date
7.4 X 9.0 X 1.4 inches | 2.15 pounds

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About the Author

Uri Shulevitz has won the Caldecott Medal for The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, written by Arthur Ransome, and three Caldecott Honors for The Treasure, Snow, and How I Learned Geography. His other books include One Monday Morning, Dawn, So Sleepy Story, and the instructional guide Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books. He lives in New York City.


"Harrowing, engaging and utterly honest." --Elizabeth Wein, The New York Times Book Review

"A captivating chronicle of eight turbulent years." --The Wall Street Journal

"Shulevitz's relationship with art, as a means of genuine expression and as a constant companion, is apparent not only in the memories he shares but also in his drawings. His illustrations showcase a great deal of emotional resonance . . . It is a privilege to hear this renowned artist reflect on his past, where hunger, loneliness, and fear battled with resilience, family strength, and the power of imagination . . . Middle school readers will find Shulevitz's darkly captivating memoir hauntingly impressive and extraordinary." --School Library Journal, starred review

"The first-person narrative, which continues through his teen years in Paris, is inviting and filled with absorbing details of everyday life, from playing games to facing bullies and fearsome dogs. The many illustrations--scary, imaginative, and humorous--are a brilliant accompaniment to the text, bringing into sharp focus stark images of civilians caught up in war. Despite the horrors, however, there is a strong sense of intimacy between the author and his readers . . . A memorable journey of survival and artistry." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The spare, keenly observed narrative offers a harrowing look at a Jewish family's plight during WWII while documenting the birth of an artist with a great capacity for creativity . . . Stark and powerful black-and-white drawings by the author underscore gritty realities: people forced to carry water after Nazi planes bomb Warsaw, tension and fear in a truck bound for Bialystok, confrontations with Soviet officials, and a crowded bed the family inhabits in a settlement work camp. This affecting memoir of Shulevitz's childhood as a war refugee provides a deeply personal testament to the power of art." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Distinguished Caldecott Medal-winning author-illustrator Shulevitz creates an arresting and affecting memoir of terrible privation . . . The book's spare, straightforward text is liberally illustrated with Shulevitz's black-and-white Expressionist-style drawings plus the occasional photograph that has survived the war. Together, the images brilliantly capture the often-somber story of Shulevitz's early life, which he ultimately survived, as he says, by chance." --Booklist, starred review

"Though touching on many dark and serious topics, this story is totally focused on the fears, triumphs, and sensibilities of a child. It is truly a portrait of an artist as a young man thrust into a maelstrom of a world gone mad and relying on chance to decide his fate." --The Horn Book, starred review

"Shulevitz's artwork provides a wealth of varied visual commentary on autobiographical episodes . . . The author pauses at several points to contemplate events that seem to have made the difference between his family's survival and the grim fate of other Jews unable to flee Nazi genocide, tacitly encouraging readers to ponder the great mysteries of providence and chance." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books