The Books that We Read and Discuss with Students from Other Countries

For the book-sharing project we have chosen two books: The Island on Bird Street and The Sandgame. Both of them were written by Uri Orlev, an Israeli author and Holocaust survivor, who is the recipient of the Andersen Prize for Children's Literature for 1996.

Both books were written in Hebrew and are available in English translation.

The Island on Bird Street is a story that deals with the Holocaust through the personal story of a boy, Alex, who is waiting in a hiding place in the ghetto for his father, who promised to return and get him. The story of Alex and his mouse shows us the life in the ghetto, the deportations, the lives of children and adults in hiding and the moral dilemmas with which the Jews were faced. The book is historically accurate and reflects the truth about Jewish children in the Holocaust. It has an exciting plot and describes Jewish figures of the time in a moving way.

The Sandgame is Uri Orlev's autobiographical story as a Jewish child during the Holocaust. It tells the story of Uri and his younger brother's childhood and survival until their arrival in Israel. The Sandgame, written from a child's point of view, depicts the events with delicate humor and sharp and sensitive insight. The book describes different hiding places in which the children hid during the war and it reveals the children's methods and imaginative games used to cope with the circumstances during the Holocaust. The book has an historical plot that can be used to learn about the events of the period. The book ends with Uri's immigration to Israel.
Following are selected passages from these books:
Excerpts from The Sandgame
Excerpts from The Island on Bird Street

The selections from the books quoted here are kindly donated by Keter Publishing, only for the educational use of the participants in the program.