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Hana's Suitcase: A True Story

(Holocaust Remembrance)

by
4.15  ·  Rating details ·  6,692 ratings  ·  681 reviews
In 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan, marked "Hana Brady, May 16, 1931." The center's curator searches for clues to young Hana and her family, whose happy life in a small Czech town was turned upside down by the invasion of the Nazis.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Albert Whitman & Company (first published January 1st 2002)
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PattyMacDotComma
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all teachers
5★
“My son — Gabriel Zev Enright Levine — is six years old now, too young to know Hana's story. But when he is old enough, I'll read it to him. I hope he will be as drawn to Hana, George and Fumiko as I was. I also hope he will learn from the story that history matters, and that despite the most unspeakable evil, good people and good deeds can make a difference.”
[In author’s acknowledgements]

Here you can see the cover of the book a little more clearly.

Cover photo of Hana

This wonderful project be
...more
Jaya
Sometimes I tend to go round the bend and end up doing things that I'v made myself promise not to do. Reading about Holocaust is one of those BIG NOs for me. Not because I don't want to know about the horrors that transpired in the name of ethnic cleansing but rather, I'v read SO MUCH about it, that the stories will last me a lifetime or rather a few hundred to say the least.

It was one of those days, when I broke my own vow and picked up this innocuous book with an intriguing title, Hana's Sui
...more
Rebecca
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This well-written, surprisingly enjoyable book starts in Czechoslovakia in the early 1900's where a little girl named Hana is born and grows up in a loving family with her older brother. Then it switches- for the next chapter- to modern-day Japan where a young lady is putting together a museum for children on the Holocaust. She writes to several places in Germany asking for things to go in her museum and receives a small suitcase with the name "Hanna" and the German word for orphan painted on th ...more
Mikey B.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book designed for children, but really it is for all of us. It is timeless. It’s tremendously touching and so sad.

A very motivated Japanese woman, Fumiko Ishioka, has set up a Holocaust Education Center in Tokyo to educate young Japanese children about the Holocaust (something many in Japan are not aware of) and by this try to get them to accept the diversity of human-kind and avoid repeating what happened in Europe during World War II.

Fumiko, in order to personalize her center, write
...more
Angela M
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While reading this true story about an 13 year old holocaust victim ,written for children , I couldn't help but be reminded of The Diary of a Young Girl and how in spite of the horrendous circumstances of both Anne and Hana our spirits can be uplifted. Fumiko Ishioka , Director of the Tokyo Holocaust Museum lovingly devoted herself to insuring that Japanese children would learn what happened to six million Jews , of which one and a half million were children. Through her persistence and the tell ...more
B the BookAddict
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: So you learn something worthwhile.
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Brenda
I did not realize, at first, that the novel was predominantly for children thus I felt a little let down but only a very little. Hana's Suitcase taught me about a part of the Holocaust which was previously not known to me. The story saddened me immeasurably; a suitcase usually signifies a holiday, a trip, the expectation of something new and good; not so for little Hana and children like her. I'd love for Levine, or someone, to write an lengthier version catering to adults; I am sure there are m ...more
NS- Sarah
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What an amazing story. I read this in about one hour. I loved the juxtaposition of the two stories told together. Hana was a young Jewish girl who did not survive the Holocaust. The book is a tale of Hana, her family and their many obstacles during a very difficult time in history. This book is also the tale of a Japanese woman named, Fumiko Ishioka, who is a museum director in Japan. Fumiko started teaching her students (who named themselves "Little Wings") about the Holocaust and by the e ...more
Jaseena AL
Title: Hana's Suitcase
Type: Standalone
Author: Karen Levine
First Published On: Jan 1, 2002
Rating: 5 stars

description


''Hana Brady, thirteen years old, was the owner of this suitcase.
Fifty-five years ago, May 18, 1942 — two days after Hana’s eleventh birthday — she was taken to Terezin in Czechoslovakia.
October 23, 1944, crowded into the freight train, she was sent to Auschwitz.
She was taken to the gas chamber right after. People were allowed to take only one suitcase with them.
I wonder what Hana put in her
...more
Category Is: Book Review Realness!
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holocaust
Hana's Suitcase is a surprisingly well written and entertaining story, despite the tragic tone contained in the book.

This isn't a simple story about the Holocaust. This is the tale of a young child
who is too innocent to face the horrors she had to endure, and also of a girl willing to do anything to prevent such horrors from occurring again.

One of the notable elements of the plot is the juxtaposition of three different stories, located in different places with characters easily recognizable.

With
...more
Brenda
The suitcase had painted on it “Hanna Brady (German spelling of Hana) 625 d.o.b. 16th May 1931 – Waisenkind (German for orphan)”…

Fumiko Ishioka began her job in 1998 at the Holocaust Education Resource Centre in Tokyo, Japan – she was determined to teach the younger generation in Japan about the atrocities of the holocaust during the war, so when the Museum received the suitcase along with a few other items from the Auschwitz Museum, she decided they (the children and her) would try to discover
...more
Barbara
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of how a little girl's suitcase inspired a museum curator to travel half way around the world to uncover a story that has touched the hearts of thousands of Japanese children.

Hana Brady was a young Jewish girl who lived in Czechoslovakia in the 1930's. She and her family became victims of the Third Reich and the Nazi extermination of the Jews. During WWII Japan was one of the Axis powers, and since the end of the war, very little has been publicized in Japan concerning the
...more
F.J. Soto
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hana's Suitcase is a surprisingly well written and entertaining story, despite the tragic tone contained in the book.

This isn't a simple story about the Holocaust. This is the tale of a young child
who is too innocent to face the horrors she had to endure, and also of a girl willing to do anything to prevent such horrors from occurring again.

One of the notable elements of the plot is the juxtaposition of three different stories, located in different places with characters easily recognizable.

With
...more
N_sally
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
I read the book and I watched a DVD of the story. The DVD would be a powerful tool to use after students read the book, "Hana's Suitcase." It is a one hour presentation given at the Skokie Public Library in November of 2003. The author of the book, Karen Levine, tells her story and what journey toward writing this book. She retells much of the story and shows slides of many of the photographs used in the book. Then Fumiko Ishioka, from the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center and George Bra ...more
Heather
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, little book this turned out to be. I loved the two stories and following Hana and Fumiko's journeys. As for the epilogue, what a powerful ending to a poignant story.
Wendy
What a beautiful tribute to Hana Brady, a young Jewish girl during the Holocaust, and Fumiko Ishioka who was/is the director of the Tokyo Holocaust Center. This story was told in alternating chapters between Hana's story in the 1930s and 1940s and Rumiko's attempts to find out more about Hana in the 2000s. The story centers around Hana's suitcase that was sent to the Tokyo Holocaust Center as an educational tool to help children there learn more about the horrors of the Holocaust. They desperate ...more
Petra
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A beautiful, warm search for one child lost to us all.
Hanna Brady died in Auschwitz and was forgotten until Fumiko Ishioka brought her back. Today, Hanna lives through her suitcase and Fumiko's search. The lovely story of bringing Hanna's story to the world for the purpose of peace and understanding is beautiful. Hanna's story is a tribute to a child, a life and a history.
The last third of this Anniversary edition shows the growth of the movement of Hana's Suitcase. The project has grown from
...more
Sharon
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Review to follow.
Brenda
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The suitcase had painted on it “Hanna Brady (German spelling of Hana) 625 d.o.b. 16th May 1931 – Waisenkind (German for orphan)”…

Fumiko Ishioka began her job in 1998 at the Holocaust Education Resource Centre in Tokyo, Japan – she was determined to teach the younger generation in Japan about the atrocities of the holocaust during the war, so when the Museum received the suitcase along with a few other items from the Auschwitz Museum, she decided they (the children and her) would try to discover
...more
☆M I C H E L L E☆
Questo è uno dei più bei libri sull’Olocausto, anche se in teoria sarebbe per ragazzini. Ma questo poco importa perché è una storia vera, e in questo caso non c’è distinzione tra libri per maschi o per femmine, per bambini o per adulti.
Questo è un libro che merita, anche solo per tutte le lacrime che fa versare, di essere letto con una certa mentalità e, non meno importante, con un cuore aperto.
La storia narra “solo” la vicenda di una bambina e di una curatrice di un museo che, quasi 60 anni dop
...more
Gautam Pai
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must read! A deeply moving book of a 13-year-old girl Hana and her brother George. Hana and George are both Jews, and the story is about a Japanese director of museum Fumiko Ishioka who wants to spread the message about the holocaust in Japan.

Fumiko Ishioka's persistence in uncovering the life of Hana and how it leads her to find George proves that nothing can beat human endurance. This was in the year of 2000 where the internet was not as pervasive as it is now.

This is a children's book but it
...more
Adrijana
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Iako je ova knjiga namenjena mladjim narastajima po mom misljenju je idealna za svakoga koga interesuje tema holokausta.
Na jako prost nacin je ispricana prica o jednom koferu koji se vezuje za devojcicu Hanu i njen boravak u getu Terezin , a zatim i logoru Ausvic.
Prica nas vodi kroz Cehoslovacku, Japan i Kanadu i na savrsen nacin zaokruzuje ovu tuznu pripovest.
Preporuka i 5 zvezdica od mene!
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Upper Elementary/Junior High

Format: Audio Book

Awards: ALA Notable Books for Children (2004), Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children (2003), Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (2004), Notable Social Studies Trade Books (2004), Sydney Taylor Award (2002)

The story of Hana Brady, a young Jewish girl the lived and died during the holocaust, is told from the perspective of two different time periods: the one in which she lived and from a mo
...more
Josephine (Jo)
This is a sensitively written children's book about a little girl called Hana Brady. A true story about Hana and her family, who lived in Czechoslovakia in the 1930's and what happened to them. The story begins when Fumiko Ishioka the director of a small museum in Tokyo starts to investigate one of the exhibits, a small suitcase with the name Hana Brady written on it. The suitcase came from the Holocaust Museum at Auschwitz concentration camp. Fumiko embarks on a long journey to find out what ha ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

HANA'S SUITCASE ON STAGE is the definitive version for those interested in reading this remarkable story for the first time. Containing both the original story, HANA'S SUITCASE, written by Karen Levine, and the play version by well-known playwright Emil Sher, this is a must-have for your keeper shelf.

HANA'S SUITCASE is the story (bestselling, I might add) of a suitcase that arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo in March of 2000. Written i
...more
Samantha
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Levine's book introduces use to Hana and Fumiko. We learn about Hana's childhood and journey to Auschwitz, where she is only survived by her brother. Fumiko is a Japanese teacher that is focused on educating her students on the holocaust. She has a suitcase and name, which leads her to learn more about Hana. She contacts Hana's brother hoping for more information without upsetting him. George is overwhelmed but happy to know his sister's memory is alive and honored. The book ends with George tra ...more
Beth Wisniewski
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After all these years reading about and studying the Holocaust I am still rocked to my core by the horrors and brought to my knees in tears over the tragic end of millions of people. I am also filled with hope when people take the time and make the effort to delve into one the most ugly parts of human history and find stories of survival, love and life! The fact that we are still seeing atrocities the world over let's me know that human kind is still so ignorant and that survivor's stories and t ...more
Darcy
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, non-fiction
This book will break your heart. You know that Hana's story will not have a happy ending, but that is only part of the story. The uplifting part is how a teacher and her students didn't let go of the idea of Hana after getting her suitcase. That they wanted to know more about her, if she was like them. I loved that tracking Hana down lead to her brother. While the initial contact had to open a long bury wound, I loved how George was able to share his sister with people that cared about her and h ...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hana's Suitcase isn't only historical; it's a glimpse into terror, given through the eyes of a child as her belongings are inspected. Each item tells a vivid story of the true horror of WWII, which was possibly one of the darkest moments in human history. Filled with photographs and detailed text, Hana's Suitcase is definitely worth reading.
Sofia
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma abordagem diferente às vítimas do Holocausto.
Gostei bastante, embora a narrativa estivesse mais orientada para o público juvenil. Uma boa alternativa ao Diário de Anne Frank, quando temos de recomendar livros juvenis dentro do tema.
3,5 a 4 estrelas.
Tânia Tanocas
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Karen Levine is a prizewinning producer with CBC Radio. She worked for many years on CBC programs including As It Happens, The Sunday Edition and This Morning as producer of the “First Person Singular” series. Karen has won awards for her radio work, including two Peabody Awards(the Oscars of radio). Levine originally produced Hana’s Suitcase as a radio documentary and later made it into a book. T ...more

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