My Mother's Voice: Children, Literature, and the Holocaust by Adrienne Kertzer
How do children’s books represent the Holocaust? How do such books negotiate the tension between the desire to protect children, and the commitment to tell children the truth about the world? If Holocaust representations in children’s books respect the narrative conventions of hope and happy endings, how do they differ, if at all, from popular representations intended for adult audiences? And where does innocence lie, if the children’s fable of Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful is marketed for adults, and far more troubling survivor memoirs such as Anita Lobel’s No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War are marketed for children? How should Holocaust Studies integrate discourse about children’s literature into its discussions? In approaching these and other questions, Kertzer uses the lens of children’s literature to problematize the ways in which various adult discourses represent the Holocaust, and continually challenges the conventional belief that children’s literature is the place for easy answers and optimistic lessons.
Broadview Press, 2002.
ISBN: 9781551113401. 384 pp.