The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

(2003)
True Story of Hansel and Gretel

Will we ever truly understand what it was like to be Jewish in World War II? Probably not, but this book adds another perspective. Just like in the fairy tale you remember, two children are abandoned in the woods and if you pay close attention there is even a trail of breadcrumbs. But it isn't because the stepmother doesn't like them. The family is running for their very lives. They must all lose their identities in order to survive. Even their names have to change. There is a cottage in the woods, a mysterious and frightening old woman, and a big oven. It reminds us that mankind is all one family; we do horrible things to one another, and we do kind and caring things for one another. Not until the end did I realize you never know their real names. Sadly, neither do the children. Family, love and hope are present as strong characters. This is not a pretty story, but it is a compelling one.

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