Author(s): Debbie Levy
Like other girls, Jutta Salzberg enjoyed playing with friends, going to school, and visiting relatives. In Germany in 1938, these everyday activities were dangerous for Jews. Jutta and her family tried to lead normal lives, but soon they knew they had to escape-if they could, before it was too late. Throughout 1938, Jutta had her friends and relatives fill her poesiealbum-her autograph book-with inscriptions. Her daughter, Debbie Levy, used these entries as a springboard for telling the story of the Salzberg family's last year in Germany. It was a year of change and chance, confusion and cruelty. It was a year of goodbyes. Praise for The Year of Goodbyes* "Artfully weaving together her mother's poesiealbum (autograph/poetry album), diary, and her own verse, Levy crafts a poignant portrait of her Jewish mother's life in 1938 Nazi Germany that crackles with adolescent vitality." -Publishers Weekly, starred review * " poignant and chilling . . . [a]n immensely powerful experience ." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "An outstanding and emotionally taut read for children...." -School Library Journal, starred review "This would work effectively as an introductory class readaloud to the era, and it would appeal to readers who like their friendship tales grounded in history and truth." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
* " poignant and chilling . . . [a]n immensely powerful experience ." "Kirkus Reviews, starred review""
Debbie Levy's (www.debbielevybooks.com) article for "The Washington Post" about her mother's escape from Nazi Germany led to a reunion between Jutta and former classmates from Hamburg. Debbie wrote "The Year of Goodbyes" in consultation with her mother to reflect Jutta's voice, feelings, and thoughts as a girl. Debbie lives in Maryland, and is the author of a number of other books for young readers, including We Shall Overcome, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.