In 1939 Poland, a young girl is asked to give up one of these and accept the other without understanding why. However, what she must part with happens to be her most prized possession--a precious gift given to her by her father before he died. The child’s mother then teaches the girl a "game" to prepare her for what is to come. As the Nazis invade the country, the mother is forced to make a heartbreaking sacrifice.
This beautifully illustrated picture book is loosely based on a true story. Although told through the eyes of a young girl, the book is written for readers of all ages. It also contains two study guides. One is for children, parents, and teachers. The other is for adults who may gather in places of worship, book clubs, and small groups. Discussion topics include themes of compassion, empathy, and diversity.
About the Author
Pat Black-Gould, PhD , is a clinical psychologist, author, and playwright. Her short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies.
Many years ago, Pat heard a powerful story that haunted her until she committed it to paper. The Crystal Beads was first published in Jewish Fiction. net in 2020. The short story then won first-place honors in two writing competitions conducted by the National League of American Pen Women, Inc., Washington, D.C. The first was an award by the Pen Women Florida State Association. Pat then received the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award as part of the National Biennial Letters Competition.
Pat felt it was important to bring the story to a younger audience. At that point, she rewrote it as a children’s book. She hopes that The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey will do justice to the story she once heard and carry its message to younger generations.
Pat’s writing explores topics such as compassion, tolerance, and diversity. She continues to examine these themes in her upcoming novel, Limbo of the Moon, written with her co-writer, Steve Hardiman.
In addition, Pat (under the name of Patricia Black) has published a book chapter and journal articles on Deafness and Mental Heath with co-author, Neal Glickman, PhD.
What a powerful book to read. This is a different Holocaust Story then I’ve ever read. I would recommend this for children 7 and up. I read this with my 9 and 11 year old sons. This was a great way for kids to learn about the Holocaust. This is a story about a mothers love and the heartbreaking decisions that had to be made in this dark part of history. I had no idea the lengths Catholics went to help Jewish families. The kindness of the sister really makes a difference in the child’s life. The Sister is one of many that went above and beyond to help the Jewish Children.
The book is well illustrated. The pictures match the story flawlessly.
Thank you the author and Children’s Book Review for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.
To learn more, follow along on the virtual book tour and enter the giveaway below for the chance to win a copy of The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey!