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- author Jackie French

Monday 26 April 2021

Review: A Chronicle of History and Hope: Holocaust

Hugh Dolan is the author of the graphic novels, Reg Saunders: An Indigenous War Hero, and Gallipoli: The Landing. These books won the Educational Publishing Award in 2014 and 2015. His latest is A Chronicle of History and Hope: Holocaust.

On an outing to David’s Bakery, Thomas and his family discover that David, the owner, was a child at the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Thomas, currently doing that subject at school, asks and listens to learn about that tragic time in human history. 

Through David’s powerful narrative, a visual history of Germany’s role in WW2 comes alive.

Attacks on the Jewish people begin after Hitler is made Chancellor of Germany. 

Things worsen after the German Parliament burns down. A sequence of destruction and deaths follow the forced closing down of Jewish businesses in Germany.

Laws are enforced forbidding Jews to attend schools and Universities. Classed as foreign, Jazz music is also banned.

Non-German books are removed from libraries, and Jews are stripped of their citizenship under the Reich citizenship law. The weak and handicapped have no place in the New Order and are put to death. These are just the beginnings.

The horrendous Kritstallnacht sees Jewish homes burnt down.

Many Jews decide to migrate to Australia and America. Other don’t get their visa on time and become part of the river of humanity that moves by trains to Concentration Camps then onto Death Camps.

This historical and beautifully illustrated graphic book opens shutters, windows and doors to the internal working of Hitler’s master plan. It allows children to visually and textually experience how horrifying and futile war is, with death the only conqueror.

With the use of maps, documents and the strong narrative voice of David, we learn not only about death and war, but more so, about courage, survival, resilience and a legacy of love and hope.

Title: A Chronicle of History and Hope: Holocaust
Author: Hugh Dolan
Illustrator: Adrian Barbu
Publisher: Scholastic, $ 19.99
Publication Date: 1 April 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742996202
For ages: 9+
Type: Graphic Novel